City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 1. Originally published by Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1884.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
King's College London
1773. (Chairman to the Reverend Canon Barry.) I need not ask you whether you are the Principal of King's College. We understand that your object in coming here is to put forward the claim of King's College to some share in the funds which are now in possession of the city companies; is that so ?—Yes: in the event (that is) of their being devoted to the work of education in any form.
1774. Probably it would be more convenient that you should make a statement in your own way ?— Perhaps I may explain to the Commission that, in order to economise their time, we have thought it better to divide the work of the deputation. It is to be my duty to make a general statement on the work and character of the College which we represent. Our treasurer, Mr. Serocold, and our secretary, Mr. Cunningham, will lay before the Commission the financial aspects of our requirements. Professor Shelley, who is the head of our engineering department, will refer more particularly to the difficulties of technical education due to the want of funds. Professor Adams will take the same course with regard to physical science; and Professor Wiltshire will bring before the Commission the work of the evening classes. I will drect my evidence to three points. (I.) The Commission has already had before it the memorial which states generally our constitution and work; but it may be well briefly to summarise this statement. King's College, as some members of the Commission will be aware, is now 50 years old, about the same age as University College; and like University College, it developed, first, one School of Liberal education which we commonly call our General Department, to which the school for boys is a junior appendage, and one great Technical school, the Medical Department. To these by degrees three other technical schools have been added—one which we call the Department of Applied Science, which trains chiefly for engineering and cognate professions including metallurgy; another the theological school, and the third a school of practical art and practical fine art, which has been recently founded with the assistance of the City and Guilds Institute, who grant us (during pleasure) the sum of 200l. a year towards that department of our work. Besides these we have a large organisation of Evening Classes carrying on at exceedingly low fees almost the whole of the work of the college in the evening for the benefit of those who are engaged in professions during the day—a very interesting but I am sorry to say wholly unremunerative work; and lastly we are endeavouring with some success to extend our work from the higher education of men to the higher education of women, and we have made some considerable progress towards the opening of that new department. This is our work, and in these various departments I suppose, that speaking roughly, we educate in different degrees about 2,000 persons, either students or boys in the school. In those respects our College is not unlike University College, and, as I know that the Commission has had before it the claims of University College, it will be perhaps convenient for me to refer to the points in which King's College differs from University College rather than to those in which it agrees with it. The first point in which we differ is in the matter of our large system of Evening Classes. University College attempted that work some years ago, but for some reason relinquished it; and the large system of evening classes, which are carried on at low fees for the benefit of those engaged during the day, is therefore relatively peculiar to King's College. Another peculiarity of King's College is the foundation of the theological school, which by the nature of the case cannot possibly exist at University College. Those are the two chief points of distinction in the constitution of the two colleges. There is a third difference in system, that is that at King's College we rather incline to courses of education, although we admit those who take up only a few subjects, who are called "Occasional students," whereas at University College I believe that most students take up whatever subjects they please, and that comparatively few (of course, with the exception of the great medical school) enter upon systematic courses. In most other respects the constitution and work of the colleges are very largely the same. There is, however, as the Commission will, of course, be aware, one most important difference. In one point our system of instruction is more extensive than that of University College, because in all our departments we introduce the element of religious knowledge. I need hardly tell the Commission that our college is connected with the Church of England, and that, in accordance with the principles of the Church, the study of religious knowledge is mainly Scriptural. We hold that, to say the least, religious knowledge is the most important branch of knowledge, and the most important instrument of education. I believe that in this respect we are very distinctly akin to the old constitution of the city livery com panies. Over and above their directly technical work, they have always recognised, not merely education, but the promotion of religious worship and knowledge and religious education. Therefore we may claim for our college a peculiar similarity to the institutions with which the Commission is mainly concerned. It should, however, be understood—I do not know whether it is understood by the Commission—that there is at King's College no religious test of any sort or kind for the admission of students. We have there students who are not churchmen, some students who are not Christians. Not only is there no religious test of any sort or kind, but there is no disability which depends upon the presence or absence of religious profession. It should also be understood that in all the departments religious worship and knowledge are offered to all, but are compulsory upon none. With regard to "Occasional students" the question does not even occur. With regard to the matriculated students, under the discretion given me by the Council, a kind of Conscience clause is most freely worked. As a matter of fact I have found it claimed mainly by three classes of students—by Roman Catholic, a few (comparatively few) Jews, and some Eastern students, who are neither Jews nor Christians. As a rule, those students who belong to various Protestant Nonconformist bodies rarely or never decline the religious instruction, which it is my privilege to give. In that respect then it should be understood that King's College opens its doors to all. The Commission are no doubt aware that with regard to the teachers of the college there is this condition, that, with one or two exceptions, they must be "members of the Church of England," whatever that phrase may legally imply. We accept simply a man's own statement that he complies with that condition; and in relation to this regulation, I may be allowed to remind the Commission that the roll of our teachers (I will take the science department alone) in the past shows that our choice is sufficiently wide. We can chronicle in science the names of Sir Charles Lyell, Professors Phillips, Ansted, Wheatstone, Daniell, Miller, Edward Forbes, and Rymer Jones, to say nothing of those who are at present working in the college. In the department of medical science such names as Fergusson, Watson, Bowman, Todd, Ferrier, Rutherford, Garrod, Lister will show that our sphere of choice is large enough to secure teachers of the very highest order. This then is the general character of our work, for which we venture to claim not only that it is a work of general public usefulness, but also that it is akin to some of the objects which are contemplated in the constitution of the City Companies. (II.) The next question is for what purpose do we find, in the course of that work, that endowment is required. Our gross income is large, amounting to between 30,000l. and 40,000l. a year. But almost the whole of this is, I am sorry to say, spent every year; and after an experience of 14 years I have come to the conclusion that the chief uses of endowment to us would be the following.—First, that we should be able to teach things which we ought to teach, and which cannot possibly pay by the fees of the students. This will be especially the case with the higher branches of all education, which comparatively few attend, and will be most of all the case with the exceedingly costly work of experimental and mechanical science. If I have an educational development to propose to our Council, I am constantly met by the difficulty that it cannot possibly pay, and therefore cannot possibly be carried out with our limited means. The second object, which I should have in view is (as our memorial states) a considerable lowering of the fees which at present we are obliged to charge for education, in order to open our educational work more widely. We have to live upon our fees, and (as at University College) our fees are not inconsiderable. Allowing for the expenses of living in London I should think to come to one of the great London Colleges must cost a young man quite as much (if not more) as to go to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, unless he should there fall into more expensive habits of living. I should be very glad to be able to lower the fees very considerably. In some departments perhaps they might be lowered by as much as a third; in others possibly more. The third need of endowment lies in this—that the whole of the staff of King's College (I know not how it may be at University College), our teachers are underpaid, in comparison with the payments that are made at ordinary public schools, at the old colleges, or at the new colleges which are being founded in the provinces. I may, perhaps, without impropriety take my own case as an instance. I came to King's College from a public school, not one of the wealthy sort; and in so doing I had to sacrifice very nearly half my income in order to accept a post which certainly ought to be considered a more important one. My case is the case of all my colleagues. My only wonder is that we are able to secure such a staff as we have at such very low remuneration. Those are the three main objects I have in view. I should be very glad also to found scholarships and exhibitions, but my experience is that for education it is far more important to lower fees than to have a large number of exhibitions. Both objects are, no doubt, important, but the lowering of fees would of the two be far more useful for the extension of education. The objects then of endowment are (if I may venture to recapitulate) to teach what ought to be taught and yet will not commercially pay; to lower fees, and therefore to extend the scope of our education; to maintain our teachers better; and to provide still further for poor students by exhibitions, although (as a matter of personal opinion) I lay less stress upon that, than I believe is laid by many authorities upon this subject. (III.) The only other question which I think we are bound to answer is why we venture to present ourselves to this Commission. Our ground is simply this. We suppose it to be not at least unlikely that as the city companies have always in some degree recognised the promotion of education as a portion of the duty that they were desirous to do, the effect of the Commission may be to extend this application of the funds of the city companies—in what form we do not of course presume to inquire. We find that the city companies have always recognised not merely technical work, but both technical and liberal education. We find that they have been to some degree able to recognise the work of King's College—by the grant to which I have alluded, and by various other exceedingly liberal grants from separate Companies—and we believe that there are many city companies, which (if they are left free to dispose in educational work of any funds committed to them) may probably not be unfavourable to the principles and work of King's College, and may prefer to assist existing institutions, rather than to continue or to push further than has at present been done the foundation of new ones. It is for these reasons that we venture to present ourselves to the Commission, and to this statement I will only add the expression of my readiness to answer any question that any member may please to put to me.
1775. (To Mr. Serocold.) I will now call upon you to explain the financial position of the college?— The part of this subject which is committed to me is one of figures only, and is necessarily rather dull. I will try to make it as short as I can, and I think it will show you that the history of King's College is one of continued struggle against financial difficulties from the very beginning, and they have been not unsuccessfully contended with, I think. The college was originally founded, as perhaps the Commission knows, in 1829. The grant from the Crown was at no rent, but subject to the condition that education should be carried on on the site and in accordance with the principles of the Church of England. If we failed to carry out those conditions I apprehend that the building and site would revert to the Crown. Originally the college was, no doubt, by some people looked upon as a commercial speculation, and I find on going back into the accounts that the capital raised for the building may be divided into two heads—shares and donations. The sum of 100,000l. was raised in shares, and a sum of 46,800l. was given in donations. I ought perhaps just to mention that though the shares and donations were separated in the accounts it was expressly provided that the shareholders should have no advantage over the college as regarded their portion of the capital fund. If any dividend should be declared, it was to be declared equally on the donations and on the shares, and the dividend on the donations was to remain the property of the college. However no dividend has ever been declared, and therefore that question does not arise. I then find that up to 1854, which is a period of 25 years, you may say the college not only spent the whole of this sum in its buildings, but got into debt to the extent of 19,000l. The cash for that debt was partly owing to private persons who advanced it on interest, and partly to endowment funds which had not been invested. Perhaps here I ought to mention that there was no breach of trust in that, as there was no condition that they should be invested, indeed permission in some cases was given to use them. The Council felt in 1854 that this burden of debt was intolerable, and that the college was not in a proper state as long as it existed; and they took a step which I think will prove to you the straits to which we have been driven, and you can imagine how painful it was. The Council said we will have an annual reduction of 500l. a year off this debt until it is wiped out, and it must come out of profit and loss. If profit and loss will provide for it well and good; if profit and loss will not provide for it we shall be under the painful necessity of taxing the incomes of the staff to make up the sum. I find that between the years 1854 and 1873 we positively took out of the pockets of the staff a sum of 5,000l. deducted in the shape of a pro rata income tax as the occasions arose. After 1873 we discontinued that system of a compulsory 500l. a year, but we still have a sinking fund for the debt of the college which the college staff are liable to make good, though not quite in the same form. Since that time the college has been obliged to do very many large and costly works, and I do not trouble the Commission with the numberless small things that were done, nor with the annual repairs for the purpose of keeping up the building; but I take a few items of large import. I find that we had a new anatomical museum to build, costing 2,800l. We made large alterations in the physical department, costing 1,500l.; then we had a great calamity in the dining hall falling in one day, which we always thought was owing to the Metropolitan Railway disturbing the foundations. That cost us 1,700l. We then built a new physiological laboratory, costing 3,000l. We added at the top of the building new drawing rooms, costing 3,000l.; and our last great outlay was the new floor of class-rooms at the top of the college, costing 7,500l. That makes a total of 19,500l., which we have spent. We have reduced this debt by various sums out of profit and loss, and I am happy to say that we paid, in various ways, 9,169l. off that debt; still there remained a heavy debt to the bankers owing, as well as the very disagreeable question of uninvested endowment funds, and in 1876 a great effort was made by raising a special donation fund (which your Lordship may remember as you were kind enough to subscribe to it), and the total amount received from that source was 11,700l. This enabled us to invest the whole of our endowment funds, and we now have standing in very good securities the sum of 38,000l., of which I will give more particulars in a minute. In addition to the endowment we ought to acknowledge that we have had benefactions either by legacy or gift from different people, amounting in all to about 3,500l. The result of that is that the present debt of the college may be called 12,000l. I will not trouble the Commission with going over the exhibitions we have had from city companies, unless they wish it; but the Clothworkers' Company have been very generous to us, so have the Salters' Company, and the City and Guilds Institute, and we have small contributions of a similar nature from Sir Charles Freake, who gives us 50l. every year. Then if I take the profit and loss account I come to this that the principle upon which the college is worked is that one fourth of the fees should go to the working expenses of the college, and that three fourths should go to the professors and masters. If I take last year (I do not think it is an unusual one) as an instance, of 34,775l. for students' fees we paid to our professors 26,833l. It would not be an exact three fourths, because there are certain things which make it vary, but it is not far out. I find a difference therefore of 7,942l. for the college share. Our expenses were 11,360l. Now we could not possibly have carried on at all if we had not had our outside profits. They are legitimate enough, I suppose, but they are outside profits. They consist of the rent of our students' rooms; we have a certain number of students to whom we charge rent; and a profit is also made upon our books and upon our dining hall. Those items made up 3,418l., and without them it wil be evident that we could not have paid our way at all last year. Then there are one or two small things I may mention. The Principal alluded to the very small pay of our professors, but with some delicacy he did not put his own case as strongly as I should do. It will hardly want remark, when I say that we are not able to guarantee our Principal the clear sum of 1,000l. a year. I may mention also that on the average of the last three years our professor of mathematics has not received 450l. a year, while our professor of classics has not received 300l. a year. I think those figures speak for themselves. I would then mention in addition that the endowment fund amounts to 38,370l., and I have divided that into three items to show to the Commission how it goes. The income of 4,000l. is devoted entirely to prizes in medals and books, of course of no pecuniary value to the students; the sum of 18,225l. is devoted to scholarships and exhibitions, while we only have three endowed professorships (one I need not count, as it is very small), the Chinese professorship, that is 2,101l., the economic science is 1,250l., and the Gilbert lectureship, 1,250l. In addition to that we had a generous legacy from Mr. Sambrook of 10,000l., which was left to be appropriated to exhibitions and scholarships at the discretion of the college. I have the particulars of that if the Commission would wish to have it. I think I have really nothing more to say, but I put the record of the figures before you.
1777. They are, in fact, a grant from the Crown ? —The land is a grant from the Crown. We built them and paid for them, but only subject to the condition I mentioned; and if we gave up teaching I am afraid the Crown would take them.
1778. (Sir S. Waterlow.) I think two professor ships have been omitted. I wish to ask whether it is not a fact that a professorhip of 200l. a year for fine arts and one for metallurgy of 200l. a year were granted by the City and Guilds Institute ?—They are not professorships in that sense. They are gifts at will. They have given us 400l. a year, and I hope they will continue to do so, but they are not endowed professorships.
1779. It is money given for that particular chair? —Yes. I mentioned them incidentally as I passed on, but the question you put to me relates to endowed professorships only, and I say that we have only three endowed professorships.
1780. (Chairman to Mr. Cunningham.) The Commission will be glad to hear any remarks that you may desire to add?—I only wish to say a few words to show you how extremely badly our staff are paid. That is one point to which I wish to refer. We have six departments at work. The staff of our general literature department consists at the present moment of 19 men. Last year the whole of those 19 men only received 2,016l. as their salaries. In our applied science department we had last year 15 men at work, and they received 1,990l. divided amongst them. In our theological department there were 14 men at work, and they received 1,926l. Our medical school consisted of 24 members of the staff, and they received 3,461l. for the whole of their work at King's College. Our evening class staff consists of 35 men, and they received for their whole remuneration 1,117l., and our school staff consisted of 36 men, and they received very nearly 12,000l. for their work. In this number of our staff some are counted twice over, but there are 109 separate men who are receiving pay from the college at the present time. Then I should also like to say that I do not think there is the smallest hope of our fees being at all added to. They are now at the present time quite as high as we can by any posbility make them, and complaints are made continually every day that the fees are too high. The students in the General Literature department pay 42l. a year, in the applied science department the same in the theological department 37l. 16s. Our medical students pay 30l. a year, the school pay 24l. a year, and the evening classes pay for the year about 2l. 12s. 6d. for each class. You may think that a very small sum, but it is nearly six times as large as other institutions of the same kind, so that I am afraid our fees could not by any possibility be any larger. Then as to the individual men and individual work that we do, we have four men engaged at King's College in the teaching of mathematics. They work during the week 15 hours each, that is 60 hours in all, and the whole of those four men for their work for the year receive under 1,000l. We have two classical men; they have 30 hours a week work in classics, and they get 400l. a year between them. Our English professor has four hours' work in the week and he has under 150l. Our History professor has four hours' work in the week and he gets about 135l. Our French professor has four hours' work in the week and he gets 120l. Our German professor has four hours' work in the week and he gets 108l. Our geological professors have four hours' work in the week and they get 147l. In Professor Adams' departments—there are two engaged in teaching mechanics and physics—they have 56 hours' work in the week with about 650l. a year between them. I might go through the whole list in the same way, showing how extremely badly our men are paid, and what urgent need we have for help.
1781. (To Prof. Adams.) Will you be kind enough to state what I believe you have come to prove?—I have to speak particularly with regard to the general and the scientific education given in the college. King's College is one of the two London colleges which supply a university education, and claims the support of the city companies, both on the ground of the general education as well as the practical or technical education given in the college. At King's College we aim at carrying the education of students in special branches of study to the highest pitch to which it can be carried, and we encourage original investigation in scientific branches. In order to do that special work in the more advanced branches of science it is necessary that we should have assistance, and, in fact, we want, especially in these days of keen competition, to be liberally supplied with funds. From the account which has already been given it will be seen the staff is very much overworked. The time devoted to actual teaching in the college is very great, and as science advances this is more and more felt, so that the college must fall behind other institutions which have the means of progress if we cannot be supplied with the necessary funds. Also the professors are in want of further assistants, so as to give them time for original research, so that in the progress of science our English colleges may not fall behind the German and other universities. Students come to us to obtain instruction in chemistry and in physics with a view to future service under the Government, and in many cases men who are already in active service abroad have obtained leave to come home, and spend their time in coming to our laboratories to enable them to do their work for the Government more efficiently; many men of that class have come to us who have been in India in the Indian Telegraph Service. Then again, some of our students have obtained appointments in the Indian Telegraph Service, and in the Public Works Department in India, after leaving us. During the last two years, before the foundation of Cooper's Hill College, our students had 10 out of 35 appointments which were filled up in the Indian Public Works Department. The principle of endowment has been recognised by the Government. Cooper's Hill College was endowed and established with the view of educating all students preparing to enter the Public Works Department, and in the last two or three years its work has been extended to telegraphy as well. In addition to this, the Cooper's Hill College, which is able to offer appointments to its best students, directly competes with our engineering department by becoming an engineering school for the education of students for the engineering profession at home. Then again, the Government has improved the education of the Royal School of Mines, and under the name of the Normal School of Science has set up a scientific school which directly competes with us, so that the principle of endowing the teaching of science has been fully admitted and acted upon by the Government, and, indeed, colleges have been established which directly compete with our unendowed colleges. We ask that we may be placed in the same position as these colleges with regard to endowment, in fact, that the competition may be a fair one. The Royal Commission on Scientific Instruction and the Advancement of Science, after examining into our system very completely, reported in 1874 that the two London colleges and Owen's College, Manchester, had established their claim to endowment from the State, and recommended that annual grants in aid of the income of the colleges should be appropriated to definite purposes, namely, first, the augmentation of the stipends of the professorships; second, the payment to demonstrators and assistants; and third, the payment in aid of laboratories and establishment expenses. We include in our scientific teaching at King's College, not only the theoretical principles of science, but also their application; and, wherever it is possible, as in subjects like chemistry, physics, and physiology, we carry that practical education to as great an extent as possible. The endowment of Owen's College, or of the Victoria University, not with money but with the power of granting degrees, has stamped the education given by that college, and, by implication, the education given by our London colleges as university education, which deserves recognition. We have had among our laboratory students at King's College men who have taken high degrees at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Some who are preparing to be teachers in schools come to us, after taking their degrees at the old universities, to get a practical knowledge of subjects, such as physics, or chemistry, or physiology; also teachers from schools frequently come to us to be instructed. Several of the leading engineers and manufacturers recognise the value of our practical teaching and are glad to get our students into their works. In the last few years seven or eight of our students have entered Messrs. Easton and Anderson's works, and about the same number have entered the electric works of Messrs. Siemens, and at the present time there are at least six of our students who are engaged in Messrs. Siemens' works; among them, one of the chief electricians in the cable testing department, and one of their chief engineers on board the cable ship "Faraday," and another who had the entire charge of Messrs. Siemens' exhibit at the Crystal Palace electrical exhibition. The subjects which are taught at the City and Guilds of London Institute, viz.: theoretical and applied chemistry, theoretical and applied physics, and the first principles of mechanical engineering, have for many years been taught at King's College, and can be as fully taught there as may be required, provided funds are supplied for developing the work as the demand for it or the progress of science requires. King's College has stood well to the front in supplying practical laboratories in chemistry, in physics, in photography, in metallurgy, and in mechanical engineering. The King's College physical laboratory was founded in the year 1868, when as yet there was no physical laboratory at either of the universities of Oxford or Cambridge, or at Owen's College, Manchester, and before the year 1870 there were no physical laboratories for students in England, except at our two London colleges. Some 10 or 12 years ago, the German universities were beginning to found physical laboratories, and now they have the magnificent physical laboratories which have mostly been built within the last five years; but they had not begun to establish physical laboratories at the time that ours was established. Now so much money has been spent on the teaching of science in Germany that, both in chemistry and in physics, and also in physiology, the German universities must take the lead, unless our colleges in England are supported by aid from without, and we are anxious that, as regards efficiency, our London colleges should be put on something like the same footing as the German universities. Great advantages result from carrying on the study of science side by side with other studies, and experience has shown that technical or practical science cannot be taught as effectively apart from a general education in the branches of pure science on which it depends. Where such teaching has been tried the system has not succeeded. At King's College we sketch out the course of education which we regard as the best for those who are to be engineers or manufacturers, or who are to be engaged in technical pursuits; at the same time we admit for part of the course, or for separate subjects, students who do not wish to take our full course in the applied science department. We believe that with a good knowledge of the theoretical work, and of such practical work as we can give him, a man will afterwards pick up his practical knowledge much more rapidly in the manufactory or in workshops. When the theoretical and practical instruction are carried on in the same college they act and re-act on one another; thus, if a student is making a model of a roof when I am lecturing on the mechanical principles of frameworks, or if he is visiting workshops and attending Professor Shelley's lectures on the details of machinery, and at the same time is attending my lectures on practical mechanics, he will take far more interest in and get a better knowledge of the subject of my lectures, because he sees more clearly the direct relation which they have to his practical work. There is now an increasing demand for scientific education of the highest kind, and colleges which can give it should be placed in a position so as to do it efficiently. In addition to endowments for the general and practical teaching, there is also endowment required at King's College for keeping up our museums and libraries. It is impossible for a college living entirely upon the fees of its students to keep its museums in a proper state of efficiency without a regular fund for the purpose. Our museum of philosophical apparatus contains a very interesting historical collection, the nucleus of which, being the collection of apparatus which belonged to King George III., was presented to the college by Her Majesty the Queen. From time to time the Council have granted sums of money to prevent the museum from falling entirely out of date, and Sir Charles Wheatstone bequeathed his extensive collection to the college, and gave us a legacy of 500l., which has been spent in the purchase of apparatus. In the experimental sciences, such as chemistry, physics, and physiology, it is quite impossible that the more advanced work, consisting principally of laboratory practice, can be made remunerative, for the classes get smaller and smaller as they are more advanced, and the individual teaching in the laboratory takes the time and energy of the Professor. It is impracticable to raise the fees, for that would exclude the students. Hence, in laboratories especially, there should be endowment for the Professors and for the teaching staff, as well as for the equipment and keeping up of the laboratories. The scale of endowment should not be inferior to that already existing in the City and Guilds of London Institute, or that in the new Technical University to be established at South Kensington. At the present time in connexion with my own subject we require appliances for the practical teaching of students who intend to be electrical engineers, and we hope shortly to be in a position to say to a student, we can teach you not only the principles of electricity, but the methods of electrical measurement as applied to Dynamo machines. Scarcely any branch of mechanical engineering can now be said to be independent of electricity, and this is one of the directions in which we hope to extend our work.
1782. (To Prof. Shelley.) We understand that you desire to speak with reference to technical science, and we shall be glad to hear any remarks you have to make?—In order to save the time of the Commission I have drawn up a statement, and I propose to read that as being the shortest way of dealing with my evidence :—"I, the Professor of Manufacturing Art and Machinery in the Department of Engineering and Applied Science in King's College, London, having conferred with my colleagues, Professors Kerr, Robinson, Huntington, Glenny, and Mr. Walker, who are connected with more particularly the province of practical technical engineering, under the heads of (1) machinery and manufacturing art, (2) the arts of construction, (3) land surveying and levelling, (4) metallurgy, (5) engineering drawing, (6) the workshop, have carefully considered the question whether within the limits of our peculiar province there could be offered sufficient encouragement for the institution of an endowment of the college in the public interest of technical education, and on behalf of myself and my colleagues I beg leave to make the following statement:—(1.) We are clearly of opinion that the organisation of King's College is capable of undertaking the furtherance of the technical education of the middle classes in a practical sense with very great promise of success; and this more especially on account of the convenient locality in which the college buildings are situated, the completeness of the staff, the old established and specially recognised association of the college with engineering work, and the highly influential connexion of the college; (2) Taking a broad view of the matter in hand, and ignoring on principle all such questions as personal remuneration we have to say certainly that in our province the work of technical education is very much impeded for want of appliances, a library and the aid of subordinate officers. The fees charged to students, although many would desire to see them reduced, seem to be scarcely sufficient, even with the most careful management, to keep the machinery of the college going, as the secretary will no doubt be able to show. Although there is, we believe, little or no expenditure incurred, except for work which is actually being done there is much that has to be done in our province con amore. We, therefore, regard it to be quite correct to say within our province that the college is very poor and indeed embarrassed, and that it might be of much more service to the public if it were endowed as some other colleges are. (3.) In respect of (1) machinery and manufacturing art, we submit that an evening class or classes with very small fees for the instruction of students of the more practical order who cannot attend during the day, or pay more liberally, might be instituted with great advantage. Perhaps it would be also practicable to establish occasional or special courses of instruction for particular trades, under teachers to be specially procured from time to time. Models and diagrams are also urgently wanted; indeed an engineering museum might be most advantageously established; and additional officers would obviously be required. In this section alone the importance of which to the national prosperity cannot be over-rated, we are of opinion that a large sum might readily be expended to the great benefit of the cause. (4.) In respect of (2) the arts of construction. We are of opinion that evening instruction for civil engineers, architects, builders, and various supplementary orders of artizans and others connected with constructive design, might be set on foot with advantage, and that the department in the college museum, which represents such business might be largely improved. The fine art of architectural design also, which at present is not dealt with at all in King's College (it is so in University College), might perhaps be included in the work. (5.) In respect of (3) land surveying and levelling, the professor finds himself much embarrassed for want of the instruments and appliances which are required for sound instruction. Here also evening instruction, if only for office work, might be introduced. (6.) In respect of (4) metallurgy, we have to say that the existing professorship of this exceedingly important practical subject has been established only quite recently under a grant from the Guilds Institute of the City of London. The endowment is only 200l. a year, and is held at the pleasure of the Guilds Institute. This must obviously be an expensive department if it is to be commensurate with the growing importance of the subject; and we are of opinion that King's College might well undertake the duty at once of expending a considerable sum per annum beyond the present endowment. (7.) In respect of (5) engineer drawing, a subject of great importance as a branch of technical education, we are of opinion that its usefulness might be greatly extended by the purchase of models and examples, from which sketches and drawings could be made with a view of inculcating correct ideas of proportion and a full knowledge of detail. (8.) In respect of (6) the workshop, which is in reality a school of manual workmanship in iron, wood, and like materials, in connexion with the subjects of machinery, manufacturers, and general construction, and which is both largely popular with the students and exceedingly useful to them, additional assistants and appliances are much wanted. The college has recently been presented by the Clothworkers' Company of London with a valuable testing machine for experimenting upon the strength of materials. We should be glad to see this machine placed in a more convenient chamber, which would have to be built for it, and its use fully developed by the provision of proper attendants. As regards new professorships we are in considerable doubt; but in view of the rapid progress of physical science at the present day we may be permitted to suggest that, if it were found practicable to establish special classes for engineering, physics, practical electricity, and possibly some other kindred subjects, a considerable sum might be expended with much advantage. The class of practical fine art, also recently established under our advice, we pass over, on the ground that it will be taken up by another department. The application of endowment funds for the library for the reduction of students' fees, or for supplementing the revenue of the college in other respects, we leave to be discussed by other authorities.—C. P. B. Shelley, M. Inst. C. E., Professor of Manufacturing Art and Machinery, King's College, London."
1783. (Sir Sydney Waterlow, to the Reverend Canon Barry.) One of the gentlemen told us that the income of the college was supplemented by grants from a number of the livery companies, but he did not give us any idea of the extent to which these companies make the grant. Do not the Clothworkers' Company give you 10 exhibitions and four prizes, amounting to 280l. a year ?—The Clothworkers' gave us each year four exhibitions valued at 115l. for two years, two exhibitions amounting to 20l. for one year, and four prizes of the value of 30l. The total amount of their gifts is 280l. per annum.
1784. Have you a branch for the education of women in higher education at Kensington ?—Not as yet. We are endeavouring to establish it. At present we are doing tentatively the work, but doing it independently of the college. It is done through the staff of the college, but at present it is an altogether independent enterprise.
1785. Have you any grant for the purpose of helping in that work ?—None, except that we have had some donations towards our building fund from the city companies to the amount altogether of about 1,000l., 500l. from the Clothworkers' Company and 500l. from other city companies.
1786. Is it intended that it should be worked under the surveillance and control of King's College ?— Hereafter we trust to make it an integral part of the work of the college. At present, although it is carried on under my superintendence, and with the assistance of many of my colleagues, our council is in no respect responsible for it, except in giving us permission to carry out in the name of King's College.
1787. (To Mr. Serocold.) Did not the City and Guilds Institute make a grant of 1,000l. for apparatus to one of your departments very recently ?—The gifts from the city companies altogether amount to 1,470l.
1788. My question did not refer to the city companies. I asked whether 1,000l. had not been given for apparatus in connexion with some of your classes by the City and Guilds of London Institute ?—(Mr. Cunningham.) No, only 300l.
1789. (To the Reverend Canon Barry.) May I ask you whether the classes generally are full, that is to say, whether there are as many students as can reasonably well be taught at the different professors ? —In some cases they are, and in other cases they are not. In some departments we have as many as we can reasonably teach; in others we could increase our classes without increasing our staff. As a rule, in lectures (properly so called) we could make this increase easily enough. In classes especially of practical construction it would be difficult or impossible. It would be impossible to give a general answer to that question.
1791. Of three fourths of the fees ?—Speaking roughly of about three fourths. There is occasionally an arrangement by which the professors bear a portion of the expenses, and this diminishes the three fourths ordinarily paid to them.
1792. I presume if the classes were really full, the payment to the professors would be proportionately increased ?—No doubt that would be the case unless it were necessary porportionately to lower our fees. There would be also in the scientific classes an increase of expenditure.
1796. Do you know the fees paid by medical students at the St. Bartholomew's Hospital Medical Schools?—They certainly are not higher than the fees paid to us, because four or five years ago the principal schools met and determined that the same fees should be charged.
1797. (To the Reverend Canon Barry.) Can you tell me whether the medical school, taken by itself, at King's College is not practically self supporting, the building having been paid for ?—In some sense it is self-supporting, because there is no endowment by which to support it; but the medical school pays next to nothing to the general funds of the college, on account of the great expenses that are connected with it. It has been already stated that our general principle is to divide our fees into four parts, and to give three parts to the teachers and one part to the college, In the medical department the one part which is given to the college is almost (and in some years has been entirely) eaten up by expenses. Hence when we have paid our professors, though I must own by no means adequately, we have had no funds whatever to keep up the college with.
1798. Do you consider that the staff generally are not at all in excess of the numbers, having regard to the number of pupils attending ?—I think not, because our principle at King's College, as at University College, is to commit each subject to a man who is supposed to be an expert in it. The result, therefore, is that many members of our staff do not devote to the college anything like the whole of their time. I myself and a few of my colleagues in the college, and the masters of the school generally, give our whole time.
1799. I presume the anxiety of those connected with King's College is to secure some endowment of the character of that by which Owen's College was founded ?—I do not quite know what that endowment was.
1801. May I ask you then whether you consider that King's College is doing the kind of work which should entitle it to some State endowment ?—We put that view before the Science Commission in evidence some years ago, and from that evidence I should certainly not wish to depart.
1803. (Mr. James.) Can you tell us what is the average age of the students?—Practically, our minimum age of admission is about 17. But the exact average it would be rather difficult to give, because in different departments it so greatly varies. In the medical department, for instance, it is higher perhaps than in the General or Applied science department, and in the theological department higher again than in the medical department. If I were to put it, speaking roughly, between 18 and 19, I should not be far wrong.
1804. What is the longest period that any student remained at the college ?—In the medical department four years in the college and hospital, in other departments two or three years, and certainly that is the longest period, I think, in any department.
1805. What is the average expense should you say for a young man who is a student at King's College who is residing in London, including living expenses; in fact, including the whole cost of his maintenance; what do you think he can reside in London for and attend classes ?—Do you mean, if he is living in lodgings or rooms, and not with his parents?
1806. I mean comparing his position to that of an unattached student at a university ?—I should think he could not certainly do with less than 150l. to 200l. a year, allowing for the whole expenses. I have not calculated the cost, but his college expenses, allowing for books and other necessaries, will probably be not less than 50l. a year. We may put 100l. for his general maintenance, and I think it would be hardly safe to put it much lower.
1807. (Chairman.) The general tendency of your evidence, I think, has been to show that you will not be able to carry on the college as you would desire to do without some endowment from public sources?— Without some endowment, from public or private sources, as the case may be.
1809. And for 50 years you have continued to teach, and the position of the college in all except its finances may be considered flourishing ?—I think so; except that its fees prevent its reaching as I should wish those classes of the community who are of comparatively narrow means. But I ought to say that the constant increase of the element of physical science in teaching involves an immense increase also in expense and difficulty of working, and therefore with the tendency to introduce more of physical science into education our position becomes more and more difficult. In fact, if we had not departments which are generally speaking literary departments and cost us nothing in the way of expense, I imagine that we could not go on at all. The two scientific departments contribute least to the general funds of the college; and those that are not scientific in the ordinary sense of the word really float the college.
1811. Do you consider that that takes place to any considerable extent?—Very largely, I think, in the engineering department, since the foundation of Cooper's Hill College, and the large amount of work done at the School of Mines. Besides the institutions endowed by the State there are those otherwise endowed, such as the new Normal School of Science, and the Cowper Street College; and we have also in some degree to compete with such colleges as have been founded at Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Bradford, and elsewhere, all of which are endowed.
1813. Therefore, in that respect you are on equal terms, because there is nothing to prevent your receiving private endowment as well as those colleges ? —There is nothing to prevent it, but unfortunately it does not happen.
1814. (To Prof. Wiltshire.) I think there is some information you wish to give us on the subject of the evening classes. We shall be glad to hear what you have to state upon that point ?—My object is to show both the work that is done in the evening classes, and the persons who come to those classes. The instruction that is given in the evening classes may be classified under the four following groups: first, sets of lectures intended for imparting information on very many branches of human knowledge; secondly, sets purely theological intended for persons preparing for Holy Orders. These two sets are special to the college. In addition there are two other groups; a course of lectures on banking, free to all persons introduced by bankers, and intended for bankers and accountants, and there is a fourth set of lectures for persons preparing for the examinations of the Civil Service. In the first group, 37 subjects are taught, comprehending divinity and the Greek Testament; ancient and modern languages, comprising Latin, Greek, French, German, English, Italian, and Spanish; the sciences, comprising botany, chemistry, practical and theoretical, comparative anatomy, zoology, and physiology, physics, experimental and applied, geology, mineralogy, and metallurgy; mathematics, pure and applied, comprising arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry, statics, dynamics, conic sections, and differential and integral calculus; jurisprudence and commercial law; ancient and modern history; harmony, drawing, painting, and engraving; public speaking and shorthand; the application of tools, comprising turning, smiths' work, and the casting of metals. In the second group the instruction given refers to eight subjects, comprising dogmatic and pastoral theology, Hebrew and the Old Testament, Greek and the New Testament, Latin, vocal and church music, and public reading. A very large number of students attending the classes. During the last five years, in the winter session (from the commencement of October to the end of March) the average number of tickets for admission to the lectures of the first group was 1,102, whilst the average number of students attending was 473. In the second group the average attendance of students was 14. In the third group, the banking lectures, the average attendance was 325, and in the fourth group the average attendance was 499. The average attendance therefore in the first and second groups was 487, or in all four 1,311. In addition to the winter session there is a summer session of about eleven weeks, when 19 subjects are taught, and when the attendance at the classes is about half that of the former. The average for the two first groups on the five years, the winter and summer sessions, was 644. Then I may speak of the class and rank of the students. Those who come to the lectures are chiefly persons engaged during the day in the city, that is, they are clerks, though occasionally professional men, merchants, and military officers, and schoolmasters desirous of acquiring an acquaintance with special subjects take out tickets. Fully one half of the students attend the examinations, and display very excellent answers. Some of the students come for the sake of the associateship of the college, which can be only obtained by their taking more than half marks in all examinations, and by their having gained at least two prizes. The students must have attended 12 courses of lectures. You will observe that this is equivalent to the work required for a university degree. With regard to the fees payable. these vary for the winter session from a guinea and a half to two guineas for each subject; of course the amount offers a very small remuneration to the teachers who are engaged. For instance, the secretary, I think, mentioned that the sum of 1,117l. was divided amongst 37 persons, and that they were paid pro ratâ; as in some of the classes, such as those of zoology and botany, only a very few attend, these not being popular subjects, the amount paid to many of the lecturers is extremely small. I should wish to mention that more than half the teachers and professors possess university degrees, and therefore are men fully qualified for their position, and that the evening classes are of great use to the public. I believe if a grant could be made to the evening classes, it would be possible to extend their usefulness to a very great extent; and also to open a series of free lectures to the working men of London. The latter might be made a main feature in connexion with these classes. This is the chief evidence I wish to give, namely, to call attention to the number of subjects taught in the evening classes of the college, and to the fact that the persons who attend these classes are engaged during the daytime in various employments.