A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 1, Physique, Archaeology, Domesday, Ecclesiastical Organization, the Jews, Religious Houses, Education of Working Classes To 1870, Private Education From Sixteenth Century. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1969.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
The University of London (fn. 1) had its origin in the foundation in 1825 of the institution in Gower Street now known as University College. (fn. 2) That foundation, under the name of 'London University', was designed to supply the shortcomings of Oxford and Cambridge and to effect a reform of medical education in England. The shortcomings of Oxford and Cambridge may well have been exaggerated. Yet those universities were exclusive both because they were expensive and because they imposed religious tests; unproductive of any return commensurate with their endowments; and out-of-date because they had been built to serve a society in which to be identified with the Church and the land was to be a national institution. The London University offered by contrast higher education free of religious tests; a non-resident system that substantially reduced costs and relieved the university of responsibility for the religious upbringing of its members; teaching organized upon professorial lines, after the Scottish pattern, that accepted students for single courses, left them free to pick their teachers, and made these teachers dependent upon fees; and a range of studies that was suited to an industrial and commercial world.
This new 'university' had at its outset to make up its mind whether to seek the justification of its name by securing incorporation and with it the power to grant degrees. Two paths were open. The promoters could proceed in Parliament by bill or address, or by petition to the Crown in Council. An attempt to secure incorporation by act of Parliament was started in 1825, but abandoned in face of the certainty of defeat in the Lords. Negotiations with the Government, looking to incorporation by charter, followed in 1827. But no favourable opportunity to secure the sanction of the Crown occurred until the return of the Whigs to power in 1830. In consequence the joint-stock company which opened its doors in 1828 did so with nothing to offer but its own certificates of proficiency.
By 1830 charters of incorporation had been granted to King's College, London, and to St. David's College, Lampeter, and the medical faculty of London University was insistent that the power to grant degrees was essential to its success. A petition was accordingly lodged with the encouragement of the Government, for a charter of incorporation 'as a University, with all the privileges incident to that title'. Such a charter passed the Privy Seal in February 1831; and it only needed the Great Seal, when Oxford intervened, supported in the following month by the University of Cambridge, with the objection that a degree in England was a commonly accepted qualification for a variety of appointments, both public and private, since it denoted Anglican beliefs. To this were added the more cogent objections of the London medical schools.
London had already won for herself a predominant position in medical education. Her hospitals were well known and in them generations of young men had walked the wards as apprentices, dressers or, simply, students, while, in the 18th century, changes in the scientific approach to medical problems and the wider opportunities for dissection allowed by changes in the law led to the growth of medical schools, some of them attached to hospitals but many of them private ventures. The diplomas granted by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Surgeons, each of them originally a local London institution, were highly prized and the influence of the Royal Colleges extended throughout the kingdom, while a third London institution, the Society of Apothecaries, had succeeded in making its membership mandatory upon all who would practise as apothecaries in England and Wales. In the teaching of medicine, therefore, any University in London would come face to face with established institutions whose standing in the medical profession none could gainsay. The medical schools were senior to the upstart school in Gower Street, which until 1834 had not so much as a hospital of its own and then but a small one. If the successful student from the new institution was to be entitled to call himself a graduate, there might as well, argued the London Medical Gazette, be 'Masters of Medicine and Surgery' 'in the University of St. Bartholomew's'. (fn. 3) In face of this opposition the matter came to a standstill, and the petition remained in abeyance until 1833; and when the question was then raised in Parliament, the opposition of Oxford and Cambridge was found to be unabated, and nothing was done.
In 1834, however, events of a larger significance came to the aid of the University. The pertinacity of the University had forced the medical profession in London to seek a more comprehensive reform, and in 1833 a petition had been presented to Parliament by 49 licentiates of the College of Physicians, including the heads of most of the medical schools in the metropolis, for an inquiry into the state of medical education. A committee set up for this purpose by the Commons reported in 1834. That summer also the House of Lords rejected the Universities Admission Bill, (fn. 4) which would have opened Oxford and Cambridge to dissenters. Flat opposition thus became difficult to maintain. In March 1835 an address praying for the grant of a royal charter of incorporation in the form approved by the Law Officers in 1831, but with a restriction against conferring degrees in either divinity or medicine, was carried against the judgement of the Government. Two charters were prepared by the new administration which assumed office in April, one in favour of London University in the precise form approved in 1831, but reducing its style to that of 'college' and thereby precluding the grant of degrees; and the other constituting a Metropolitan University, comprising a board that should have power to examine and confer degrees on students from the existing chartered colleges in the metropolis and its vicinity and from such other colleges as should thereafter be created by royal authority. The seal was affixed to the charter of University College, London, on 20 November 1836. Immediately afterwards, upon the same day, there was sealed the charter of the new University of London.
The University of London thus established was an examining body appointed by the Crown. Its duty was to hold forth to all classes and denominations, without any distinction whatsoever, an encouragement for pursuing a regular and liberal course of education and to that end it was to ascertain by means of examination the persons who had acquired proficiency in literature, science, and art, and to reward them by academical degrees. It consisted of a chancellor and a senate containing a vice-chancellor and thirtyseven fellows. It was to have such officers as it might see fit to appoint. It had no teachers. As a government department it was provided with accommodation in Somerset House, the outgoings on which were carried on the annual vote of the Office of Works. (fn. 5) It was controlled by the Home Office, and was required to render an account of its expenditure to the Treasury. Until the income from fees should be sufficient to meet the charges, the current costs were to be met out of public money, (fn. 6) and the University was provided annually on the Treasury vote. In 1837 it was given £1,000 to start with. Since the Treasury had to meet any deficit on current account, it supervised the University's expenditure in detail. The scale of fees and the rates of pay to examiners required Treasury sanction. (fn. 7) The University could not so much as print the Senate minutes or increase the porter's wages by a shilling a week without Treasury approval. (fn. 8) The Home Office exercised a similarly strict control within its own province. When the first vacancies in the Senate occurred, it filled them without reference to the University, although the Secretary of State later undertook not to do so without consultation. (fn. 9) All by-laws and regulations had to be submitted to him. (fn. 10) The Home Office, as well as the Treasury kept an eye upon the number of examiners and the scheme of payments to them. (fn. 11) The officers employed by the University were civil servants, and ranked for civil service pensions. (fn. 12)
The Senate of the new university assembled for the first time on 4 March 1837. The chancellor was William Cavendish, Lord Burlington, afterwards 7th Duke of Devonshire; the vice-chancellor, J. W. (later Sir William) Lubbock. (fn. 13) For the organization of the new institution these two themselves took the main responsibility.
The immediate task was to frame regulations for matriculation and graduation, to draw up syllabuses, appoint examiners, and approve the papers drafted by them. No candidate, the University determined, should sit for examination unless he produced a certificate of having completed such course of instruction as the University should determine. These certificates might be granted by University College, King's College, or 'such other institution . . . as is now, or hereafter shall be, established for the purposes of education, whether in the metropolis or elsewhere within our United Kingdom, and as we . . . shall hereafter authorize to issue such certificates'. 'For the purpose of granting degrees of bachelor of medicine and doctor of medicine', the charter continued, 'and for the improvement of medical education in all its branches', the University should 'from time to time report to one of our Principal Secretaries of State what appear to them to be the medical institutions and schools . . . from which . . . it may be fit and expedient . . . to admit candidates for medical degrees', and should then be empowered so to do provided the report were approved. The University thus had no control over the list of institutions authorized to enter candidates in the Faculty of Arts and Laws. They were accepted by the Home Office without consultation with the University, (fn. 14) 'the Senate possessing no power in the matter'; (fn. 15) and having no effective means of checking either the particulars of the course the candidate was certified to have completed or the competence of the institution to conduct it. In the Faculty of Medicine the University had rather more authority. No institution could be put on the list of affiliated schools without its recommendation, and the school was required to submit a statement of 'the instruction given . . . and the means . . . possessed] of illustrating the respective courses'. Replies were scrutinized with care, (fn. 16) and recognition was refused or delayed for lack of satisfactory evidence. (fn. 17) But there was no inspection, and the control of the student was left to the individual institution. (fn. 18) The first list of recognized medical schools was issued in 1840. (fn. 19) The first examination for matriculation was held in 1838; the first examinations for B.A., LL.B., B.Med., and M.D. in 1839; the first for M.A. in 1840. The candidates at these examinations all came from University College or King's College. (fn. 20)
In all this, grandiloquent language described modest proceedings. The administrative and domestic staff of the University of London in 1838 consisted of a registrar, a clerk to the Senate, a messenger, a half-share in the services of an office-keeper, and a charwoman at 10s. a week. (fn. 21) Appointments to the Fellowship of the University were life appointments; and there was no machinery for bringing them to an end. The imposing appellation of Senate of the University of London stood for a meeting of seldom more than seventeen and on occasion as few as two persons. Yet its proceedings had a far-reaching influence. The University awarded degrees without religious tests seventeen and eighteen years before the abolition of those tests was begun at Oxford and Cambridge and a third of a century before it was completed. Rigorous examination by means of written papers in a wide range of subjects at entrance to the University and at the successive stages of the degree course was a deliberate and much cherished reform in academic habits and a novelty of the first importance. London matriculation won a place for itself as a school-leaving examination quite independently of its function as a test for university entrance, and, including, as it did, English history, geography, chemistry, and natural history, played a great part in the modernization of the curriculum of the secondary schools. Although there was no separate degree in science until 1859, the extended range of subjects required to be offered at the B.A. gave from the start academic standing to scientific and other studies hitherto neglected by the universities; and medical education, by reason of the demands at matriculation and the First Medical Examination, reinforced after 1860 by a Preliminary Science Examination, was enriched by the addition of general and scientific education to vocational training.
By 1852, however, the list of institutions from which the University was empowered to receive certificates for degrees in Arts and Laws had without adequate academic advice been expanded by the Home Office to include 32 establishments, in addition to 'the Universities of the United Kingdom' and apart from the 63 medical schools over whose acceptance the University had had rather more control; so that the affiliation of non-medical institutions lost all significance. (fn. 22) The system was in consequence swept away in 1858. A new charter granted in that year provided that 'persons not educated in any of the Institutions connected with the . . . University' should also be admitted as candidates for matriculation and any degrees, other than medical degrees, on such conditions as the University might determine. The immediate impact of the new policy upon the bodies included in the approved list was not very serious. Their students could still go up for examination as they had gone up before, and the charter even contemplated the continued use of certificates. The beneficiaries were the institutions that had not previously made the grade, and, pre-eminently, the private, unattached student without institutional backing, hitherto inteligible but now admitted with no questions asked about the course he had followed. The change of policy was fundamental. The attempt to link examination with teaching was abandoned. It is true that the link had never been effectively forged, and the charter of 1858 may be said only to have registered what was already a fact. But what had been the result of mere inadvertence and inefficiency came now to be regarded as a matter of principle; and what was done was regarded by University College as a breach of the agreement reached in 1835. (fn. 23) Since the private student was to enjoy an equality of opportunity, the examination must by rule be conducted without regard to teaching, and must perforce be narrowly restricted to common knowledge. (fn. 24)
In 1837 the Senate decided to make the first choice of examiners from among its own members; but few senators were willing to serve. (fn. 25) It became the practice to reappoint annually. Jerrard, a senator, examined in classics from 1839 until his death in 1853. An examiner in mathematics acted, without a break, from 1839 to 1858, by which time his tenure of the office had become something of a scandal. Of the eight examiners responsible for the list in 1849, five signed that issued seventeen years later. (fn. 26) This was changed by the charter of 1858. Members of the Senate were then precluded from appointing one another, and the term of office was limited to five years. (fn. 27) Appointments were from the first made upon the recommendation of special committees of the Senate charged with the care of particular examinations. The persons so appointed were regarded as employees. They never came together as a body save at a meeting under the chairmanship of the Registrar to finalize marks. (fn. 28) They were required to examine upon the syllabuses drawn up by committees of the Senate. These committees were empowered to consider any representations that might be made and to confer generally, at their discretion, with examiners or with professors in the colleges. But there was no machinery to insure that such consultations were anything but capricious and haphazard. (fn. 29) The syllabuses ran on for periods of twenty years without change. (fn. 30) Those for the B.A., the only first degree available from 1838 to 1859, continued virtually without modification throughout that period. When revised in 1858, they stood again without change until 1878; and it was another ten years before the task of amendment was resumed and revision became more frequent. The regulations for the new science degree, framed in 1859 and first operative in 1860, lasted unchanged until the radical reforms of 1877; and then, with one or two exceptions, ran on with no more than a few piecemeal amendments until 1899. (fn. 31)
The consequence of such conduct of the University was to engender by the seventies widespread discontent. That the examinations were severe no one denied. (fn. 32) That they tested the right qualities was not so generally agreed. (fn. 33) The Senate was in the main a body of laymen, and their educational philosophy was amateur. (fn. 34) The examinations conducted by them became, not a spur, but a check to good teaching, examiners coming to speak a language inferior to that of the teachers. The papers set failed to reflect the intellectual vigour to be found in the colleges; and the performance that they called for enjoyed but little respect among the learned. (fn. 35) If the colleges wished both to do the work that appeared to them to be proper to a university and to prepare their students for London examinations, they had to provide teaching at two levels. The students cannot, said the Principal of King's College in 1888, 'get a degree at the University of London without going through another course of study besides that which we give them, and in some respects inconsistent with it'. (fn. 36) The relations of the London colleges and schools with London University were indeed slight. In 1880, when the total number of graduates in Arts was 94, the number from University College was 15, from King's College 3; in Science the total was 27, from University College 8, from King's College 2. (fn. 37) King's College was always closely connected with the older universities, and its courses were more influenced by them than by the requirements of London. (fn. 38) There was more connexion between University College and the University. The College supplied a good many examiners; and its curriculum followed the lines of the University examinations. (fn. 39) Yet although it sent in more men than King's College, a large number of its students were not degree candidates at all. (fn. 40) If University College and King's College had withdrawn from the University it would have made very little difference. (fn. 41)
The remedy appeared to the teachers to be to vest the control of syllabus and examination in themselves. (fn. 42) To this the Senate opposed the view that a body of men of distinction in various walks of life was a better judge of what a university should do than a band of professors, and that to give the control of syllabus and examination to them would be to encourage fads and jeopardize standards. (fn. 43) But the case could not be disposed of as easily as that. The careless multiplication of affiliated institutions, followed in 1858 by the admission of candidates who came from any institutions whatever or had been at none at all, swept away, save for its name and the location of its office, any peculiar relation of the University with London and its vicinity or with the teachers in the London colleges; made impracticable the association with the Senate of persons who could properly be regarded as representative of teachers in general; and raised a doubt whether there was any case at all for teachers as such having a part in examinations. In this situation the teachers, whether in London or the provincial colleges, found themselves without any means of breaking down the self-esteem of the Senate and effecting the reform that seemed to have become essential. And the London colleges were in a rather worse position than the rest. Whereas in the provinces the way was open to the colleges to raise themselves to the status of independent universities, in London it was blocked by the presence of an institution which bore the name of a university but was not the kind of university the London colleges wanted. Thus when the northern colleges were combined to form Victoria University in 1880, and independence was achieved by Liverpool in 1884, and Leeds in 1887, the London colleges were in danger of relegation to a position of inferiority; and University College went so far as to consider an application for admission to the Victoria University itself as a means of securing home rule. (fn. 44)
The situation in the medical schools had its own peculiar complications. Medical education had altered in style and in content since the beginning of the century. Pre-clinical courses had become longer and more academic, while extensive clinical experience and familiarity with the confirmatory evidence of post-mortem examinations were deemed essential for the making of a good doctor. Consequently medical education became more scientific and more expensive, and it was based to an increasing degree on the hospital medical schools. Furthermore there was an increase in demand for the services of competent medical men as the numbers and the wealth of the middle classes grew. That there was a corresponding increase in the supply of doctors was due to the willingness and ability of the same middle classes to support their sons while they were medical students.
Unhappily the situation in the medical schools in London was not encouraging. The grievance of the medical teachers was the same as that of their colleagues in the other faculties. They were hampered by the exercise of control over the regulations and examinations for degrees by a lay body. Most of their students were candidates for the diplomas of the Royal Colleges. Teaching for these was the traditional function of the hospital medical schools; and in regard to these there was no disjunction of examination from the preparation for it. (fn. 45) But trouble arose when the growing number of public medical appointments for which the possession of academic qualifications was required, and changing custom in the use of the term 'doctor', made university degrees increasingly desirable. London medical degrees being exceptionally difficult to come by, the London medical schools found themselves at a disadvantage. (fn. 46) The total number of medical students in London in 1888 was put at 1,800, excluding those who were registered at the University but subsequently left to complete elsewhere. (fn. 47) Only a small proportion of these proceeded to the M.B. and so could by courtesy call themselves 'doctor' and a yet smaller proportion obtained the M.D. (fn. 48) The annual average of the awards of the degree of M.B. from 1839 to 1879 was nineteen. (fn. 49) The years 1882 to 1887 produced 'about 280 bachelors' and 149 M.Ds. (fn. 50) The figure for the M.D. was put in 1888 at 'not more than about 25 in the year'. (fn. 51) In consequence students tended to go for the last year or two of their course to places where they could obtain the coveted award more easily-to Durham and Newcastle, to Scotland, to Ireland, or to Brussels. (fn. 52)
The difficulty was threefold. The students commonly arrived at the medical schools unaware that before graduating they must first matriculate, and then found the passing of London matriculation while they were pursuing their medical studies a task beyond their powers. (fn. 53) When they had matriculated, they were faced with a Preliminary Science Examination calling for scientific knowledge such as was not required from candidates for the diplomas of the Royal Colleges or from medical students at other universities, (fn. 54)-knowledge to which the secondary schools from which they came had usually given them no introduction, and with which, if they were at one of the smaller medical schools, their teachers were not adequately equipped to provide them. (fn. 55) Thirdly the examinations for the final M.B., although probably not more difficult, were more theoretical than the Conjoint. The M.D. had become a test for men of 26 to 28 years of age and was in effect an honours degree. (fn. 56) The failure rate throughout the course was in consequence extremely heavy. Three-quarters of the candidates were rejected at matriculation and the Science Preliminary; not more than 10 per cent. of the whole number were admitted to the M.B. (fn. 57)
The easy reply to these complaints was that what students and their teachers were asking for was a lowering of standards. (fn. 58) Those who already held the M.D. had bought it at a substantial price and were exceedingly unwilling to see anybody else get it cheaper. (fn. 59) Its reputation stood high. (fn. 60) It could plausibly be argued that those who got no further than the M.B. had been required to have a good general education (insured at matriculation) and a proper scientific training (insured by the Preliminary Science Examination). The M.D. represented scientific attainments that clearly went beyond a mere professional qualification. It could indeed not be denied that there were some who wanted to see in London an examination such as would elsewhere have got the successful candidate an M.D. and would be more readily within the reach of the average student. (fn. 61) Yet to more penetrating critics of the University the issue was not so simple. To their mind the trouble was not that the standards were too severe but that they were inappropriate. (fn. 62) The need was to change a government examining board into an autonomous teaching university. To do this it was necessary to secure the regulation of academic matters by a body of university teachers free from lay interference, and to ensure that their recommendations, although they might be rejected as administratively or financially impracticable, should not be reversed by the Senate on academic grounds. The failure of the Senate to satisfy this demand for a teaching university was not, however, due wholly to its own want of vigour and understanding. Its task was complicated and embarrassed by the ambitions of Convocation and of the Royal Colleges, and by the rival claims of the provinces.
Established by the charter of 1858, after an agitation by the graduates which began in 1848, Convocation consisted of all Doctors, all Bachelors of Law of two year's standing, and all Bachelors of Arts of three years' standing who paid a registration fee; and in 1885 it numbered 2,504. (fn. 63) Its consent was necessary to a surrender of the charter and to the acceptance of a new one. It submitted a list of nominations for appointment by the Crown to a quarter of the places on the Senate. Otherwise it was explicitly denied any authority 'to interfere in, or have any control over, the affairs of the University', (fn. 64) a prohibition which was repeated in the charter of 1863 and remained the law until 1900. (fn. 65) Most of its members did not reside in the London area, and never had resided there, even as undergraduates. There could be a postal vote, but generally a small minority, living within convenient reach of Burlington House, exercised the functions of Convocation in the name of the rest. Those who thus met were responsible to no one; and normally, save for making nominations, they had no business to transact save such as they invented for themselves. They were described in 1911 as 'little more than a debating society attended but by a fractional part of those whose names were enrolled'; (fn. 66) and although they were for a time in advance of the Senate in seeking the reform of the University, from 1885 onwards Convocation strove only to enhance its own authority and intrude upon the ground forbidden to it by the charter; and it displayed a growing hostility towards the teachers in the London colleges. (fn. 67)
The object of the Royal Colleges was to maintain their control over medical education in London. There were close links between them and the London medical schools. Many of the teachers in the schools were to be found upon the councils of the Colleges; the bulk of the students in the schools were preparing for the examinations of the Conjoint Board; the Colleges regulated the courses of study leading to these examinations, and could refuse to recognize a medical school with which they were not satisfied; and the majority of their examiners were drawn from the London schools themselves. (fn. 68) The Colleges were as much alive as the schools to the need for a more accessible degree if medical education in London was to continue to thrive. (fn. 69) To them, however, the proper solution appeared to be that they themselves should be granted the power to confer it. (fn. 70)
In November 1885 it looked as though a substantial reform of the University might soon be achieved. Instead there ensued thirteen years of unseemly wrangling, for which responsibility rested in the main with the Senate and Convocation. But the situation was complex. The two Royal Colleges, namely the Royal College of Physicians of London and the Royal College of Surgeons of England, sought incorporation under the name of the Senate of Physicians and Surgeons, with power to grant medical degrees. The more intransigent of the professors at University College aimed at the establishment of an autonomous university upon the German model, a plan which came to be referred to as a 'professorial university' and involved the liquidation of University College and King's College and the appropriation of their buildings and other resources to the needs of the new institution. University College and King's College desired a greater measure of self-government; and the Association for Promoting a Teaching University for London, founded in 1884 and widely supported among the teachers in the two colleges and the London medical schools, was bent upon the establishment of a university in London, based upon the existing London colleges and schools, in which an effective part in government was allotted to the teachers. Well-founded objections existed to satisfying the ambitions of the Royal Colleges which in the end proved decisive; and impatient advocacy, displaying a readiness to coerce where persuasion was not effective, together with the overwhelming practical difficulties of the plan, relegated the proposed professorial university to a subordinate rank. The debate thus in the end became essentially one between University College, King's College, and the Association, upon the one hand, and the Senate and Convocation upon the other. But it was still confused and embarrassed by the divergence of aim between the last two, and by misunderstanding and jealousy in the provincial colleges.
The first steps towards meeting the demands for a teaching university and a more accessible medical degree were taken by Convocation itself. Its members were the only persons outside the Senate with any constitutional standing in the matter. It made representations to the Senate in 1877, complaining of the insufficiency of a 'Government examining board'. (fn. 71) In January 1885 it set up a Special Committee to consider the proposals published by the Association for Promoting a Teaching University. After conference with the executive committee of the Association, a sub-committee of the Special Committee produced a scheme for the reorganization of the University. But this was rejected by Convocation. (fn. 72) It took thirteen years of argument and the intervention of Parliament to rectify the mistake. The vote was a turning point in the history of the University. It marked the transfer of the control of Convocation to the hands of new men of much narrower mind. In the next quarter of a century grievous harm was done. Convocation so used its veto as to render the University powerless to adopt any plan that satisfied the reformers.
In June 1887 the Association, and University College and King's College jointly, forwarded petitions to the Privy Council for the grant of a charter to a new Albert University. (fn. 73) In February 1888 the chancellor of the University was requested by the Senate to communicate to the Lord President the desire of the Senate that the matter should be referred to a royal commission. The Commission, of which Selborne was chairman, was appointed in May. (fn. 74) But its report, when it came, was decisive on one matter only, that the petition of the Royal Colleges for incorporation with power to grant degrees in medicine and surgery should not be granted, since these bodies had no academic character and it was not thought desirable to create a degree-giving university in a single faculty. (fn. 75) For the rest it left matters very much as they were, (fn. 76) save for the implication that a single university for London was to be preferred if the Senate could devise and persuade Convocation to accept suitable machinery. For the time being the petitions before the Council lay in abeyance, and the University, granted this respite, addressed itself once more to the preparation of a scheme. Its work was submitted to Convocation on 12 May 1891, and was rejected by a vote of 447 to 197, the total membership of Convocation then being 3,200. (fn. 77)
On 26 May the Privy Council accordingly gave notice that it would proceed to consider the petitions that were still before it. (fn. 78) Having failed to produce a solution of its own, the Senate could not well offer further opposition. (fn. 79) Convocation wished to do so, but was refused a hearing. (fn. 80) In July the Council advised the Crown that the petition of the two colleges should be granted subject to certain minor amendments. (fn. 81) The charter as amended, and now providing for the admission of the London medical schools as Colleges of Medicine, was lodged with Parliament in August, (fn. 82) but no action could be taken before the session ended.
At this juncture the opposition was reinforced by the suspicions of the provincial colleges, whose medical schools were seized with the idea, industriously put about by the opponents of the Albert Charter, that the new university intended to grant medical degrees on the strength of no higher academic attainments than were required for the diplomas of the Royal Colleges, (fn. 83) suspicions that were unjustified but widely accepted as the truth. When the charter was again tabled early in 1892 there had been time for the opposition to rally its forces. (fn. 84) The Government announced its intention, in the event of the defeat of the charter, to remit the matter for investigation to a new Royal Commission; and in the same sitting an address was carried praying the Crown to withhold assent. (fn. 85) In this distressing game of snakes and ladders University College and King's College were back where they had begun. The new Commission was issued on 30 April 1892. (fn. 86)
This Commission, commonly referred to as the 'Gresham Commission' by reason of the substitution of 'Gresham' for 'Albert' as the name for the proposed teaching university, (fn. 87) addressed itself to its task with vigour, and its report, when it came, made that of its predecessor look a jejune piece of work. It sat from May 1892 to March 1893, holding 68 public sessions and putting some 25,600 questions to the witnesses who appeared before it. Its chairman, Lord Cowper, (fn. 88) was the most effective of the three statesmen who have presided over Royal Commissions on the University of London. Much superior to Selborne in thoroughness and skill and as much a master of the problem as Haldane was to show himself twenty years later, he was less committed than Haldane to particular solutions of his own. The Commission was authorized 'to alter, amend, and extend the proposed charter' as it thought fit. It put a wide construction upon its terms of reference. (fn. 89) It recommended 'that there should be one University only in London, and not two; and that the establishment of an efficient teaching University, on such a basis as will enable it, while retaining its existing powers and privileges, to carry out thoroughly and efficiently the work which may be properly required of a teaching University of London, without interfering with the discharge of those important duties which it has hitherto performed as an examining body for students presenting themselves from all parts of the British Empire'. (fn. 90) For this purpose it proposed a university consisting of a Senate as the supreme governing body; an Academic Council, elected by Faculties; Faculties consisting of teachers appointed or recognized by the University; Boards of Studies; and Convocation. (fn. 91)
In framing its recommendations the Commission had to deal with two tenaciously disputed matters of academic policy, namely the proper nature of a university examination and the proper relation of teaching and research. It distinguished between those who were henceforth to be known as 'internal students', being 'students attending an approved course of University study in a School or Schools of the University', from those whom it called 'external students', whose sole connexion with the University was that they presented themselves to it for examination; (fn. 92) and while recommending a uniform standard of examination for the two classes, it left the Senate latitude to decide whether the examination should be the same in whole or in part, providing for a college certificate in lieu of preliminary examinations from students at internal institutions and for the allowance of alternative papers or joint examination by university and college in final examinations so as to permit of flexibility in the curriculum. (fn. 93) While it recognized that, even so, it was impossible, in a university the size of London, to make every teacher an examiner of his own students, it justly argued that in the University it envisaged the teachers, as a body, would 'exercise such an influence upon the examinations and the studies of the University as to remove the objections . . . advanced against the examinations of the existing University of London'. (fn. 94)
On the question of the relation of teaching and research its views were less clear. It expressed the opinion that in principle the separation of teaching from research was undesirable, since 'any undue limitation of research to institutions specially set apart for that purpose would tend to lower the academic character of the Schools of the University and the standard of their teaching'. (fn. 95) But there was some ambiguity about the way in which the principle should be put into practice. (fn. 96)
Upon this basis the Commissioners proposed to include, in the reconstructed University, University College, King's College, the Royal College of Science, nine medical schools, the London School of Medicine for Women, the City and Guilds Institute, Bedford College, six theological colleges, and four colleges of music, omitting Queen's College as not yet ripe for admission, Birkbeck and the Polytechnic institutions, together with the Training Colleges. (fn. 97) To those proposed by the Commissioners there were subsequently added the London School of Economics and Political Science, Royal Holloway College, and the South-Eastern Agricultural College. (fn. 98) The Commissioners proposed, finally, that the changes should be effected, 'not by a Charter, but by a legislative authority, and by the appointment of a Commission with statutory powers to settle . . . arrangements and regulations in general conformity with their recommendations'. (fn. 99)
The inner history of what followed is at many points still obscure. If, instead of founding a new university the old one was to be reformed, procedure by Bill instead of by petition to the Privy Council for an amended charter was the only means whereby the reformers could circumvent the power of veto possessed by Convocation. But their opponents were not rendered helpless. They had but to transfer their operations from Convocation to Parliament, where over-taxed ministers and a busy House of Commons would be unlikely to find time for a measure upon which the interested parties had failed to agree. In the long run, the Senate, Convocation, and the teachers in the London colleges reached a compromise. But this took three more years of intricate and obstinate negotiation, and only then was Parliament found willing to act.
On the publication of the Gresham Report in 1894, R. B. Haldane and Sidney Webb took the lead in seeking the legislation it recommended. Sidney Webb had ideas of his own about what a university should be like, and he pursued them without scruple and with unhesitating confidence. As chairman of the Technical Education Board he devoted himself between 1893 and 1899 to laying the foundations of an educational system for the whole of London, dreaming of the unification of all education from the infant school to the university, under the London County Council, (fn. 100) and looking to the incorporation of his proudest creation, the polytechnics, as an integral part of the new university system. (fn. 101) As founder of the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1895 he took the first step towards the realization of his ideal of dissolving the London colleges and re-assembling their work by faculties. (fn. 102) As a member of Convocation and the ally of Haldane, he now did his best to bend the university to these purposes. His ideas were different from anyone else's, save the now discredited extremists at University College, and they were revolutionary in character. The fact that they were partially, but only partially, realized was in the future to be a source of some embarrassment to the University. After long negotiations, Haldane at last succeeded in securing the signature of nine individuals to a memorandum setting out the terms they were jointly and severally prepared to accept, which subsequently provided the substance of the schedule to the bills of 1897 and 1898. The signatories to the memorandum were, besides Sidney Webb and Haldane themselves, Sir Edward Busk, the chairman of Convocation, and Sir John Lubbock, the University's representative in Parliament;
Heber Hart and T. B. Napier acting for the more intransigent of the graduates, organized in the London University Defence Committee; and William Ramsay, Wace (the Principal of King's College), and Sir George Young, representing the London colleges and the Association for Promoting a Teaching University. (fn. 103) The essential feature of the memorandum and of the bill when it was introduced in July was that the Commissioners to be appointed to draft the Statutes of the reconstructed University were now put under restraint in respect of a number of matters detailed in the schedule. The most vital of these matters were that equivalence should be maintained between the Internal and External degrees, that the Senate should be made the supreme governing body and executive of the University and have 'the entire conduct of the University and all its affairs and functions'; that in consequence its standing committees should be advisory only; that 'duly qualified teachers and lecturers giving instruction of a University type in public educational institutions situate within a radius of thirty miles from the University buildings, whether such institutions be Schools of the University or not' should, when 'recognized' by the Senate, become teachers of the University, and should be eligible for appointment to faculties and adequately represented on boards of studies; and that matriculated students attending their courses should be accepted as 'internal' students of the University. (fn. 104) A London University Commission Bill embodying these compromises was carried in 1898.
The precise shape of the reconstructed University now depended upon the action of the Statutory Commissioners, and there Sidney Webb displayed his accustomed skill and foresight. Beatrice Webb recalled in 1900 the 'successful packing' of the Commission. (fn. 105) 'The form of the Bill', she had noted in 1897, 'the alterations grafted on the Cowper Commission Report are largely Sidney's. He thinks he has got all he wants as regards the Technical Education Board and London School of Economics. The Commission', she added, was 'largely favourable, or at any rate "susceptible" to right influence. . . .' (fn. 106) The statutes, when drawn, 'completely met the special points to which the Technical Education Board had called the attention of the Commissioners'. (fn. 107) It was in fact at those points where they departed from the recommendations of the Gresham Commission that the Statutory Commissioners laid up most trouble for the reconstructed University. (fn. 108)
By the turn of the century the University, with a rising revenue from fees amounting in 1898-9 to over £18,400, had become all but independent of support from public funds, save for free lodgings in Burlington Gardens. (fn. 109) Between 1838 and 1898 the academic plans of the founders suffered radical changes. The intention that a London degree should be the mark of a wide general education including some knowledge of the physical, biological, and mental sciences, (fn. 110) was only imperfectly realized. Every candidate for matriculation from 1841 to 1886 continued to be required to satisfy the examiners in English (including some history), natural philosophy, and, except for the years 1844-51, in chemistry; and from 1888 to 1901 he had also to do so in one of the branches of experimental science-chemistry, heat and light, or magnetism and electricity, in addition to classics and mathematics. (fn. 111) At the B.A. examination, however, the programme was less fully maintained. It became possible after 1880 to graduate not only without any attention to science after matriculation, but also without mathematics after Intermediate; and by the end of the century, if the candidate so chose, the B.A. might be a purely literary or indeed purely linguistic degree. (fn. 112)
In 1859 the Senate made amends for this by the institution of a degree of Bachelor of Science. (fn. 113) The new examination was to be preceded by an intermediate which should insure a competent knowledge of the fundamental principles of mathematics, mechanical and natural philosophy, chemistry, and biology. (fn. 114) At the second and final examination candidates were required to pass in mathematics and natural philosophy, chemistry, animal physiology, geology and palaeontology, and logic and moral philosophy. (fn. 115) It was the first degree of its kind to be offered in the United Kingdom. The impetus had, however, come from outside the Senate; (fn. 116) and the achievement was marred by the fact that the regulations of 1859 remained virtually unchanged until 1878; and not until 1896 did the Senate agree that it would be well 'to commit the revision of the syllabuses . . . to bodies specially appointed for the purpose', to be designated Boards of Studies. (fn. 117) These bodies produced a set of revised regulations which came into force in 1899 and 1900. (fn. 118)
The regulations for the B.A. which now came to be known as the General Degree were revised in 1905, becoming operative in 1909. They then precluded the possibility of a purely linguistic performance and provided the opportunity for candidates for the B.A. to study at least one scientific subject and candidates for the B.Sc. at least one in the field of the humanities. (fn. 119) But Honours degrees were established in 1903 and first examined in 1904; (fn. 120) and the General Degree fell into a decline. In 1938 when 409 were successful in the Honours examinations for the B.A., only 74 took the General. (fn. 121)
The M.A. was from the outset awarded upon examination. Degrees in Music were instituted in 1877, the D.Sc. in 1859, and the D.Litt. in 1885. (fn. 122) Certificates of Higher Proficiency for 'female candidates' were introduced by the authority of the supplemental charter of 1867. By a further charter granted in 1878 all University awards were opened to women on equal terms with men. (fn. 123)
The aim of the medical curriculum adopted by the University was to secure a systematic and comprehensive medical education based upon a modicum of general and scientific knowledge. The regulations for the M.B. framed in 1839 required candidates to be matriculated, (fn. 124) to have been students for not less than two years in preparation for the First Examination and not less than a further two years for the Second. (fn. 125) Only two changes of substance were made in these regulations before 1900. In 1860 the Preliminary Scientific Examination was introduced, to be taken before proceeding to the two medical tests. (fn. 126) In 1863, a supplementary Charter authorized the conferment of degrees in Surgery. That of Master of Surgery was instituted and the whole of the practical examination in Surgery was transferred from the Second M.B., while Surgery was omitted from the examination for the M.D. (fn. 127) A general review of the regulations for medical degrees was undertaken in 1896, but action was ultimately postponed pending the reconstitution of the University. (fn. 128) Throughout these years the Preliminary Science Examination, and Logic and Moral Philosophy at the M.D., proved to be grievous stumbling blocks to medical candidates.
In accordance with Benthamite doctrine, the degree of Bachelor of Laws did not at the outset denote the study of law in any professional sense. It was open to Bachelors of Arts of one year's standing. The subjects of examination were Blackstone's Commentaries or parts of Kent's Commentaries, and either Rutherford's Institutes of Natural Laws or portions of Dumont's edition of Bentham's Morals and Legislation. Law in its common acceptation figured only in the additional papers open to those who sought honours. In 1839 the examination was conducted by a single examiner, who set two papers on Blackstone, two on Bentham, and two in jurisprudence. (fn. 129) Not until 1867 was a degree in law of the normal pattern introduced. (fn. 130) A large increase in the number of candidates followed upon this alteration of the regulations. (fn. 131) But the Faculty remained weak in face of the professional training provided by the Council of Legal Education and the Incorporated Law Society; (fn. 132) and not until after the First World War, when the colleges began to replace the visiting lecturer by a full-time professoriate, did the University make an important contribution to the study of law.
The Senate of the reconstructed University met for the first time on 24 October 1900. Barely more than eight years later the University became the subject of yet another Royal Commission, this time presided over by Haldane himself. (fn. 133) Its origin was twofold.
The new constitution showed itself almost at once to be gravely defective. The most serious faults were a built-in obligation to maintain the equivalence of Internal and External degrees; the excess of authority vested in an unsatisfactorily consituted Senate, and the failure to permit a proper delegation of functions; the failure to provide an effective link between the University and its schools short of incorporation, leaving those who did not proceed thus far no more closely related to the University in their corporate capacity than they had been before; and the embarrassment of boards of studies and of faculties with the presence of numerous members doing little university work and employed upon terms and under conditions very different from those of university teachers. (fn. 134) Each of these mistakes was a departure from the recommendations of the Gresham Commission; the last was the work of Sidney Webb. (fn. 135) Dictated to the Statutory Commissioners by the Schedule to the Act, they were the price paid in order to secure any legislation at all. (fn. 136) About the source of these defects the Haldane Commission subsequently spoke bluntly. 'It was the claim of Convocation to a preponderant share in the government of the University which delayed its reconstruction for over ten years at the close of last century; and the compromise then effected, which divided the governing body of the new University between the teachers and the graduates; . . . we have shown . . . to be one of the main causes of the difficulties encountered.' (fn. 137)
The Gresham Commission had envisaged a Senate of 66 containing 9 representatives of Convocation and 22 representatives of the teachers. The statutes gave Convocation and the teachers 16 representatives each in a Senate of 66. (fn. 138) The Commissioners intended to grant wide powers of delegation and to vest in an Academic Council 'the duty of regulating . . . the teaching, examinations, and discipline of the University, and of determining what teachers in any School of the University [should] be recognized as University Teachers . . .', that Council being advised by Boards of Studies; (fn. 139) leaving to a Board for External Students the supervision of the examination of 'external' candidates. (fn. 140) But under the statutes the Senate became the 'supreme governing and executive body of the University', without any power of delegation; (fn. 141) the Academic Council was reduced to the position of a standing committee of the Senate for internal students, (fn. 142) and was balanced by an external Council with co-ordinate powers; (fn. 143) the Faculties, which were to have collected and consolidated the advice of the Boards of Studies, became little more than electoral colleges; (fn. 144) and Boards of Studies were allowed to report direct to the Senate. (fn. 145) The consequence was that the business of the University had to be transacted in all its detail by a grievously overburdened and bitterly divided body, in which the Convocation members were on the watch for any lowering of the standard of degrees, and became the jealous defenders of equivalence in the tests imposed upon candidates. (fn. 146)
The agenda of the Senate became inordinately long and were swamped with detail, affording every opportunity for pettifogging procedural manoeuvres, so that that body seldom found time for the discussion of larger matters, (fn. 147) while it was burdened with duties that were inappropriate to it. Yet the quarrel was not a simple one between the Convocation and the faculty members of the Senate. (fn. 148) The division, said a witness, was 'roughly into two parties, a party which supports the policy of the University College, and a loosely united opposition made up of those who wish to maintain the External side and the established examination test system, and teachers who have united with this party to defend the interests of the non-incorporated Schools'. (fn. 149) The reason was that the new constitution, at fault this time in common with the Gresham Commission, (fn. 150) provided no link between the University and its schools in their collegiate capacity short of full incorporation in the University, (fn. 151) a course adopted by University College in 1907 and King's College in 1910. Their students, pursuing a regular course of study in a recognized school, became Internal students of the University. (fn. 152) Their teachers might be appointed or recognized teachers, and might become members of the Senate. But as schools they had no part. (fn. 153)
If the colleges had very little say in what went on in the University, the University upon its part had very little control over any but the incorporated colleges. It had itself no endowments. The schools of the University were financially entirely independent of it and of one another. (fn. 154) The grants which they had been receiving from the State since 1882, were paid directly to them, as they were paid to similar institutions in other parts of the country; (fn. 155) and the University itself received nothing from this source. (fn. 156) Educationally they were almost equally independent. Beyond admitting them as 'recognized schools' the power of the University was limited to the approval of syllabuses for degree courses, the recognition of individual teachers or the conferment of University titles upon them, and the conduct of degree examinations. (fn. 157) It had no part in the appointments made by the colleges, and no power, therefore, to influence the terms of those appointments or to insist that the teachers should be regarded as anything more than the employees of the appointing bodies. (fn. 158) It had no control over the teaching in the colleges beyond that of approving, or refusing to approve, courses of study, and thus no power to co-ordinate the work of the schools or to prevent undesirable competition that might arise between them either by the lowering of fees or the unnecessary duplication of departments of study. (fn. 159) 'Almost every independent institution', said the vicechancellor, 'pursues its own separate policy without regard to the University as a whole'; (fn. 160) and college feeling was growing stronger rather than less. (fn. 161)
The result of these stark divisions was that the business of the University was gravely impeded, (fn. 162) and that some of those whose task it was to govern reached the conclusion that the new consitution was unworkable. (fn. 163) Wrangles on the Senate, said Sir William Ramsay, were common; (fn. 164) the friction' said Sir Herbert Cozens-Hardy, was 'almost unendurable'. (fn. 165)
THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
It was into these muddy waters that there was dropped the problem created in 1907 by the establishment, in pursuance of the report of the Departmental Committee on Technical Education, of the Imperial College of Science and Technology, embracing two institutions, the Royal College of Science and the City and Guilds Institute, that were already schools of the University. (fn. 166) The new college was most unwilling either to be bound by the rules of the University in regard either to the selection of its teachers or its students, or to its syllabuses and courses, or to entangle itself in the trammels of University examination. It wanted itself to be the degree-giving body. (fn. 167) Its creation therefore at once revived the threat of two independent universities in London, and opened the door to a further review of the whole situation.
A new Commission presided over by Haldane was appointed to deal with the problem. It sat from 1909 to 1913, issuing five reports during those years. Its labours were rendered abortive by the outbreak of war in 1914. Its task was complicated. The chairman of the Statutory Commission of 1898 had said openly that reorganization would soon be necessary; and experience bore him out. (fn. 168) Both Haldane and Webb had in mind comprehensive schemes for such a reorganization, and regarded the Act of 1898 as unsatisfactory, and but the first and that a short step towards the realization of what they wanted. (fn. 169) Both their schemes were highly doctrinaire and neither paid much heed to history, but Webb's was the more practical and practicable, its foundations laid in the work he had already done as chairman of the Technical Education Board. The Senate, however, having asked the Government to appoint a Royal Commission to consider the incorporation of Imperial College in the University, took umbrage when, without consultation, the terms of reference were greatly enlarged; and in a fit of petulance it refused to give evidence, so that when the vice-chancellor appeared before the Commissioners he could speak only for himself. (fn. 170) Convocation, not going that far, nevertheless restricted its representatives to dealing with the subject for which the Departmental Committee had suggested the appointment of a Royal Commission; (fn. 171) and its witnesses cut a poor figure and were roughly handled. The labours of the Commission itself were remarkable for thoroughness and penetration. But while the diagnosis of the situation was invaluable and had a far-reaching influence, the specific recommendations, of which the effect would have been to create a centrally administered University made up of single-faculty departments of study, (fn. 172) were stillborn, and it was probably well that they were. The Commission submitted its final report in 1913, when a Departmental Committee was set up to recommend the steps to be taken to give effect to it. (fn. 173) But its work was interrupted by the outbreak of war, and its task was laid aside. (fn. 174)
The University was thus condemned to live for upwards of 25 years under a grievously defective constitution which afforded only too ample scope for the interference of unqualified persons. Yet it did not merely survive but grew. However imperfect the instruments of government, the Act of 1898 had provided the University, for the first time, with both students and teachers. These it had never had before, but only candidates and examiners. (fn. 175) It was this that first gave London anything that could properly be called a university.
The organization of 'regular courses of study' for the students was the work of the Boards of Studies and the Academic Council. On the Council'fell practically the whole task of organizing, improving, and extending higher education within the appointed radius of the University in accordance with Statute 3'. (fn. 176) It had to build up a university professoriate and to discharge the invidious tasks of recognizing teachers and admitting schools. If its composition was unsatisfactory, if it was denied executive power and its recommendations were frequently overridden by the Senate, (fn. 177) in a long view it can be seen to have done a great work. But it was on the Boards of Studies that the most important, although the least observed progress was made. They were, it was said, 'the only bodies constituted by the Regulations of 1900 which have proved an unqualified success'. (fn. 178) They barely caught the eye of the Haldane Commission; and although their satisfactory performance of the duties assigned to them was recognized, they were given but a subordinate place in the Commissioners' plan for reform. (fn. 179) Yet it was there that the corporate life of the University was growing. It was there that the teachers of the University found themselves in a position to control the curriculum, and first met one another in pursuit of a common task, building 'schools' in their several subjects which transcended the limits of particular institutions. (fn. 180) 'In the last ten years', it was said in 1910, 'a great deal of the most interesting life of the University has been at these Boards of Studies. I think we are all agreed about that.' (fn. 181) 'The improvement in the University examinations due to the excellent work done by Boards of Studies', said Allchin, 'is the most striking benefit that has followed the reconstruction of the University in 1900, if indeed it be not the only one in special connexion with Medical degrees.' (fn. 182)
A Departmental Committee on the University of London, known as the Hilton- Young Committee, was set up in October 1924 'to consider the Final Report of the Royal Commission on University Education in London dated 27th March 1913'. . . . (fn. 183) It reported in 1926. 'We are convinced', the Committee said, 'that with the lapse of time and material change of circumstances some of the main recommendations of the Haldane Report have lost their force, and that the ground for attempting to impose such an entirely new constitution on the University as the Report proposed no longer exists. A practicable scheme of reform and reorganization must, in our opinion, be evolutionary rather than revolutionary and build as far as possible on existing foundations'. (fn. 184)
The Committee addressed itself to five problems of outstanding urgency. They were the relation of the University to its schools, involving the vital question of university finance; the unsatisfactory constitution of the Senate and its standing committees; the composition of Boards of Studies; and the embarrassments caused by the requirement of Statute 122 that examinations for the Internal and External degrees should 'represent as far as possible the same standard of knowledge and attainments', and by the system of recognizing teachers in institutions not admitted as schools of the University.
As a solution of the first of these problems, the Committee rejected a further extension of incorporation, (fn. 185) and adopted instead a federal pattern. (fn. 186) They further recommended three changes of quite radical importance-a reorganization of University finance, the grant to the colleges of representation on the Senate, and the establishment of a Collegiate Council. 'The University', they observed, 'has practically no financial resources which it can devote to the development of teaching or research except the balance of examination fees. And yet the total income for the year 1923-4 of the 22 Schools of the University in receipt of grants from the Treasury, including the Incorporated Colleges, amounted to nearly £1,000,000.' (fn. 187) They regarded it as 'fundamentally inconsistent with the idea of a self-governing university that it should not have sufficient financial resources and authority to initiate and pursue a policy of well-balanced development and to prevent wasteful duplication and competition'. (fn. 188) They proposed therefore the establishment of a body which should become the sole agent for application for and receipt of money from any public authority by the University itself or any of its schools, and be qualified 'to negotiate with grant-giving bodies, to engage with them in the final and effective discussion of the university budget and to allocate the grants which result from that negotiation and discussion'. 'We recommend', they said, 'that there should be a University Council to determine the allocation of funds for the execution of university policy and generally to exercise control over finance'. (fn. 189) The new statutes set up such a body under the name of the 'Court'. (fn. 190) The counterpart to this diminution in the financial independence of the schools was the award to them of a share in the government of the University by means of institutional representation on the Senate and the creation of a new standing committee of the Senate called the Collegiate Council. (fn. 191)
The defect of the Senate was that it was composed largely of the wrong people, and that they had too much to do. The Committee could 'find no justification for the system whereby so many senators [were] nominated by bodies none of which [had] an organic connexion with the University and most of which [had] no similar privileges in other universities', namely the Inns of Court, the Law Society, the Royal Colleges, the City and Guilds of London Institute, and the London County Council. (fn. 192) It recommended their removal, and put representatives of the schools of the University in their place. (fn. 193) It did not recommend any change in the system of giving teachers and graduates respectively a substantial and equal share in the general government of the University. (fn. 194) The business to be dealt with by a Senate thus reformed was then lightened by substituting, for the statute restricting its statutory committees to advisory functions, one giving it power to delegate executive functions to them, and allowing them in turn to delegate to subordinate bodies. (fn. 195) Furthermore it proposed the removal of the restriction imposed by the Schedule and the Statutes limiting the personnel of Standing Committees to senators. (fn. 196) It recommended that the University should itself become responsible for the appointment of professors and readers in its schools. (fn. 197) It made no suggestion for any restriction of the authority of the Senate to recognize teachers in institutions that were not schools of the University; (fn. 198) but it expressed the view 'that the new statutes should state clearly the power of the University to approve for degree purposes syllabuses and courses of instruction submitted by incorporated colleges or schools of the University, and to conduct examinations for a university degree related to those syllabuses and courses of instruction', (fn. 199) free from the embarrassments of Statute 122. (fn. 200)
A University of London Act, passed in 1926, set up a Statutory Commission to make statutes in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee. The new statutes came into operation in 1929. The changes thus made removed the most serious defects of the Act of 1898 and its Schedule. The Internal side of the University was freed from interference by the representatives of the ideas of the old examining University, its government falling in effect to the Academic Council, which became in time the most powerful of the standing committees of the Senate and was protected from the overthrow of its recommendations by a radical change in the balance of power in that body.
Between 1900 and 1950 the University added 13 new schools to the 28 admitted under the Statutes of 1900. (fn. 201) By 1950 almost all the teachers at these institutions were employed full-time, and all the senior among them were appointed or recognized teachers of the University. The change from the part-time to the full-time employment of the majority of the teachers worked in particular a revolution in the faculty of law and in the premedical and pre-clinical courses of the medical schools. The daily life of the undergraduate continued to be spent, as it had previously been spent, almost wholly in his college. But he was free to attend intercollegiate courses at other institutions, and at the University itself he found a University Library, a University Union, and University athletic teams.
Throughout the first hundred years the University returned again and again to the complaint that it was inadequately housed. In 1870 for the first time it obtained quarters specifically designed for its use, when the north front of Burlington House was built. (fn. 202) From here it was moved in 1900 to the Imperial Institute in South Kensington, (fn. 203) accommodation that proved to be exceedingly inconvenient both in itself and in its location. But the proper remedy became a subject of controversy between the rival parties in the Senate. By 1926, however, the impracticability of any satisfactory remodelling of the University's share of the Imperial Institute had become inescapably clear, and in the following year a resolution in favour of removing the central administration to Bloomsbury was carried by a vote of 21 to 18. Its implementation was made possible by a princely gift from the Rockefeller Foundation. The purchase of both the northern and southern portions of the site was assured in May; and the foundationstone of the Senate House, designed by Charles Holden, was laid in June 1933. Occupa tion began in 1936, and was completed by 1938. (fn. 204) In 1951 the University bought another 13½ acres from the Bedford Estate, making together with the rectangle occupied by University College an area of nearly 35 acres lying between Euston Road and the British Museum. (fn. 205) This concentration in Bloomsbury enormously facilitated the work of University boards and councils; and the University quickly gathered around itself a cluster of central activities.
By 1950 the reconstituted University had changed radically in character and grown surprisingly in size. Its student body, in pursuit of ends very different from those of their predecessors, and greatly enlarged in number, followed a much more diversified but also a much more strictly regimented curriculum. Its teachers had not only become much more numerous, but were also engaged in a much greater variety of intellectual labours and stood in a changed relation to the University. A complex of central activities had been developed; the financial position of the University had experienced a revolution; and an elaborate administrative machine had been built up. (fn. 206)
The number of Internal registered students, that is of students who had matriculated and were attending 'at any one "Approved Course" in a School or under any one Recognized Teacher of the University', (fn. 207) rose from 2,004 in 1902-3 (fn. 208) to 4,950 in 1913-14, 8,099 in 1920-1, 14,587 in 1938-9, and 26,762 in 1960-1, including in each case students at institutions with recognized teachers, numbering in the last of these years, 4,908. (fn. 209) These figures, however, did not in 1902-3, nor for many years afterwards, represent the sum of the students at the schools and colleges. Those at institutions with recognized teachers, but not themselves working under such teachers, were at no time in any sense a part of the University. But the student body in the two incorporated colleges and the other schools of the University still included a large number who, while present in university institutions, were not Internal registered students of the University. Some of them, unable to fulfil the conditions imposed upon Internal students, had technically to proceed on the External side. But most of them were not seeking the degrees of the University at all, but were on their way to Oxford or Cambridge, or aimed at one or other of a variety of scholastic or professional certificates and diplomas. For students at the medical schools these were the professional diplomas of the two Royal Colleges; and there were lively schools of engineering in the London colleges long before the degree in Engineering was established in 1903. There was thus plausibility in Sidney Webb's contention that the population of the colleges did not differ significantly from that of the polytechnics. (fn. 210) At University College in 1900, out of a student body of 1,098, 37 took their bachelor's degree at the University. In 1925, the number was still only 216 out of 2,426. (fn. 211) At King's College in 1902 the matriculated students were 324 out of 1,385, (fn. 212) and at the medical schools only a third of the students were working for the London degree. (fn. 213) By 1961 the situation had changed radically. The heterogeneous body had, with scattered exceptions, been replaced by full-time students pursuing, even in the medical schools, a course leading to a degree, so that the 26,762 on the register in that year came close to being in fact the total student population.
The essential feature of the reconstituted University was that it was a teaching as well as an examining body. The hallmark of the Internal student was attendance upon an approved course. The number of hours of such attendance was prescribed by regulation and the fulfilment of the regulations in this respect had to be certified by the college before the candidate was admitted to examination. A candidate for the B.A. in 1904 was required to produce certificates of 'having attended not less than 810 hours in the three years [of his course], of which at least 405 must be B.A. courses'. (fn. 214) Only in 1947 was this certification of a specific number of hours abandoned in the non-medical Faculties: (fn. 215) in the Faculty of Medicine it still prevailed. (fn. 216) In spite of the good intentions of the Senate, the consequence was a severe reduction in the freedom of the undergraduate. (fn. 217) The student pursued a systematic course of study that carried him, in the three years that he remained at college, from matriculation to the final degree. It was this and not for individual classes for which he registered and for which he paid his fee.
The rise in the number of students was accompanied by a similar growth in the number of the academic staff. In 1900 the University had no teachers of its own. By 1904-5 it had appointed 12 professors and 17 junior teachers and had 'recognized' 745 teachers in its several schools and colleges and in 'other institutions', including polytechnics. (fn. 218) In 1938-9 the figures had risen to 248 professors, 167 readers, and 979 recognized teachers. (fn. 219) In 1960-1 the corresponding numbers were 491, 472, and some 1,400 recognized teachers. (fn. 220) But once again the figures by themselves tell only part of the story. The academic staff became in the event something very different from what the Senate had intended. The reason for this was financial. The Senate found that it had no money with which to recruit, as it had expected, an independent body of university teachers of its own, and was driven by the winds of poverty on a different and a wiser course.
In 1900 the institutions that were to become the schools and colleges of the University were already, in common with institutions of higher education in other parts of the country, in receipt of modest Treasury grants. Upon the reconstitution of the University, the Government agreed to continue to meet out of public funds the charges falling upon the University for accommodation, and added a small annual grant. But the net increase over the moneys the University had previously had at its disposal from this source was a mere £2,400 a year, and appeared to the members of the Senate to be wholly inadequate to the performance of the task now laid upon them. (fn. 221) Protests, however, were unavailing, and the University got nothing more for the next twenty years. (fn. 222)
The ground for this refusal of the Treasury was the failure of the University to obtain local support. It had not hitherto been a local institution. This support it received in 1901 in the shape of a grant of £10,000 a year from the London County Council, (fn. 223) procured for it by the aid of Sidney Webb. The money enabled the University to make its first 29 academic appointments. But it was insufficient to provide the persons so appointed with university laboratories; and it became clear that the plan to establish a University professoriate accommodated in University departments, over and above the departments already existing in the schools and colleges, was unlikely to be realized. In January 1907 the Senate resolved, 'that, as a transitional measure, the title of University Professor be conferred on such persons at present holding teaching posts in Schools of the University as the Senate may designate, after receiving in each case a Report from the Academic Council, . . . the full title . . . conferred on such persons being that of "Professor of . . . in the University of London"'. (fn. 224) By 1915 a university professoriate had thus been established. (fn. 225) Its distinctive features were that, with minimal exceptions, every appointment was a tripartite agreement between the University, the school, and the person appointed, and that every appointed teacher owed a dual allegiance, to the University and to his school.
Within this professoriate, mainly by reason of the spontaneous evolution of the several subjects of study, but also under the influence of benefactors, appointments took on at the same time a bewildering variety. The consequence was the development. under the care of Boards of Studies, of a corresponding variety in the curriculum. It proved to be futile to appoint a man to promote the study of a subject that had no place in the syllabus for the first degree. He found himself in that case in the occupation of a sinecure; for without roots at the undergraduate level postgraduate work could not be effectively developed. Every such teacher was driven, therefore, to see that what he had to offer became somewhere the subject of examination, and degrees and diplomas and the options within each multiplied profusely. (fn. 226) The function of a university teacher being not merely to know and pass on what other men have found out, students did not come merely to receive instruction but, as Haldane put it, entered 'as members, a particular department of university work'. (fn. 227) What they were offered was a share in that work, not the privilege of diverting their teachers from it. It was upon this rock that schemes for the revival of the General Degree split.
The development of medical education in the reconstituted University followed a different path. The teachers in the hospital medical schools had been some of the most vigorous and effective opponents of the pretentions of the London University of 1825; they had throughout taken a prominent part in the affairs of the University of London of 1836 which took its place; and they had become leaders in the movement for the reform of that University in the latter years of the century. (fn. 228) But the reconstituted University of 1901 was a disappointment to them, and no close association between it and the medical schools developed until after 1929. The medical Faculty had its own peculiar difficulty in the Senate. 'The Faculty [of Medicine] suffers', said A. C. Headlam, the Principal of King's College, 'by the disproportionate number of medical men on the Senate . . . the teachers being in a small minority. We have, thus, the policy of the Senate in medicine largely regulated by interests which are in many ways antagonistic to the existence of a proper teaching University'. (fn. 229) The result was denial of autonomy to the Faculty. It was not surprising, therefore, that the medical teachers despaired of the University. (fn. 230)
But other forces were also at work, with a contrary effect. The London hospital medical schools found themselves faced with falling numbers and rising costs, and were driven more and more insistently to seek help from outside.
While it was true that London still educated in whole or in part 40-50 per cent. of all English and Scottish medical students and 70-75 per cent. of the total medical students in England, (fn. 231) the number of those coming to its schools had fallen from an annual entry of about 655 in 1885-9 to one of 250 in 1905-9. (fn. 232) This was due in part to a general decline in the number of persons qualifying to practice medicine and surgery, which set in about 1894. (fn. 233) But in part the fall was more ominous. The London schools were getting a smaller share of the reduced number of students registering in a medical school from the start. (fn. 234)
While the number of their students was thus falling, their costs were going up. The education of medical students in the hospital medical schools had its origin in the practice of allowing members of the hospital staff to introduce students to 'walk' the hospital with them as they themselves went round the wards to attend to their patients. (fn. 235) Out of this grew the practice of providing systematic courses of instruction in the premedical and pre-clinical sciences preparatory to clinical teaching on the case. As these sciences developed they passed beyond the compass of the hospital staff themselves, and it became necessary to employ specialists to deliver the lectures. The change involved a loss of salary to the staff. But an income from fees paid by medical students had never been the prime object of the system. The profit of it was not that; it was consulting practice. A man's way to eminence in practice lay to a great extent through his reputation in the hospitals. (fn. 236) As the costs of the basic sciences mounted, however, and more and more expensive laboratories were needed as well as the specialists who taught in them, merely not being paid turned into having to find out of their own pockets the deficit still outstanding after the fees had been collected, and this at a time when 'hospital appointments . . . [were] not of the same pecuniary value as formerly owing to the development of other accepted methods of professional advertisement'. (fn. 237) The result was that on the one hand some of the schools were hard put to it to keep their heads above water and that there was keen competition for students, (fn. 238) and on the other much inefficiency in departments maintained for competition's sake. (fn. 239) The schools had a wolf by the ears and did not know how to let go. Anxious to drop the teaching of the preliminary sciences which they could less and less afford to maintain, each was afraid to do so lest the rest should not follow suit; and all were acutely aware that University College and King's College would do nothing of the kind. So that the teachers of the Preliminary and Intermediate subjects, who 'were not, and never intended to become, members of the Hospital Staff', were continued as the mere and often sweated employees of the clinicians. (fn. 240) 'They are', said H. T. Butlin, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, 'paid salaries wholly inadequate to their position and the work they are expected to perform. The largest salaries paid to professors and lecturers on Anatomy and Physiology in London are £300 to £400 per annum. Teachers, whose original work is known throughout the world, some of them holding the Fellowship of the Royal Society, are paid on this scale, and have to eke out their incomes by various expedients. One of them is, I understand, paid secretary of the students' club of the school; and another, I am told, makes something by his skill in painting'. (fn. 241) Teachers were lost, in consequence, to the provincial and Scottish schools. (fn. 242)
The solution proposed was concentration of teaching for the first two and half years of the medical course, (fn. 243) either among a small number of the medical schools themselves or in a single University institution, or at the University, at King's College, and at University College. (fn. 244) A plan was launched in 1902 for the establishment of a central Medical Institute in South Kensington to take over from the schools the teaching of the basic sciences to medical students, and a public appeal for funds was issued by the University. But it ended in fiasco. £60,000 (fn. 245) had been collected when the Medical Faculty rejected the plan it had begun by sponsoring, and the money collected had to be returned to the donors. It was a lamentable outcome to the University's first adventure in seeking assistance from private sources; (fn. 246) and the result was to leave the schools more estranged from the University than before, but with their problems unsolved. (fn. 247)
But a larger undertaking than this was pressed upon the attention of the medical schools by the Haldane Commission, no less than the reform of the clinical departments themselves. The task was set out with simplicity by Sir William Allchin. 'In the incorporated colleges of the University [University and King's] the earlier and intermediate subjects are now placed upon a thoroughly satisfactory basis of university teaching, where, in addition to furnishing the requisite instruction for the average man, the sciences are studied for their own sake and for the extension of the knowledge of them. The time has now come when similar provision must be made for the pursuance of Medicine, Surgery, and Pathology and their several branches in the same advanced and scientific manner'. (fn. 248) This could be done in one of two ways, either by the establishment of a hospital entirely under the control of the University where this advanced work would be concentrated, or by scattering university professors among the Medical Schools in what came to be called 'hospital' or 'professorial' units. (fn. 249) The disadvantage of the first of these plans was that if the new University Hospital accepted undergraduates, it would be difficult to decide which undergraduates should go to it, and if it did not, but were purely postgraduate, it would drain the undergraduate schools of their best teachers and their research. (fn. 250) The advantage of the second would be to infuse a university spirit into the schools. (fn. 251) It was adopted with enthusiasm by Haldane. (fn. 252) 'The essence . . . [was] that in a University Medical School the principal teachers of clinical medicine and surgery in all their branches ought to be university professors in the same sense as the principal teachers of chemistry or physiology. . . .' (fn. 253) Of all the aspects of the Commission's inquiry, this was the one in which Haldane showed the keenest personal interest, and of all the solutions they proposed this was the one to which he was most deeply committed before he began to ask any questions, pressing his views pertinaciously upon the medical witnesses at the cost of arousing much opposition and resentment. The plan, with all its implications, was indeed not easy to grasp. There was much confused argument about medical research, arising from a failure to distinguish between investigations conducted with a view to the diagnosis and treatment of a particular case, and systematic scientific research conducted for its own sake; (fn. 254) and Haldane himself only fully cleared his mind on the subject in the course of the inquiry. (fn. 255) But fully, or only half understood, it was very unwelcome to the consultants. The existing practice was to put the student into contact with the practising physician at the bedside, (fn. 256) the laboratories being essentially service laboratories. (fn. 257) In this practice which they regarded as the characteristically English system, the more conservative members of the medical schools wished to make no change. (fn. 258) All they wanted was to be provided with more money, to meet the cost of adequate laboratories and an adequately paid staff of assistants, with perhaps here and there a chair in some special subject. (fn. 259) In place of this, or partly in its place, Haldane proposed to introduce into a hospital 'a complete unit . . . I mean', he said, 'you would have a professor, you would have the assistants under him, you would have a certain number of beds set apart for the work, and you would have the lecture theatre and the necessary laboratories'. (fn. 260) The student would then be instructed by men who were giving their whole time to the scientific study of medicine, and would work under them as his fellows worked under professors of other subjects. (fn. 261)
The first of such clinical units to be established by the University were set up in 1920-1 at St. Bartholomew's, St. Thomas's, the London School of Medicine for Women, and St. Mary's. (fn. 262) No general change in the relation of the medical schools to the University or in the organization of medical education in London occurred, however, until 1929. The statutes of that year provided for the representation of the medical schools on the new Collegiate Council, gave the Faculty of Medicine effective control over the medical curriculum and medical examinations, and above all made the University the channel through which passed the much needed financial assistance to the Schools. Under the new dispensation there was great and rapid progress.
The great expansion of the University which set in after the First World War was only made possible by steadily rising support from public funds. The London County Council from time to time increased its annual subvention, and in 1921 came the first of the annual grants from the Home Counties. But the bulk of the money was derived from the Treasury. The total income from all sources, starting from £29,788 in 1901-2, (fn. 263) which became £49,622 in 1902-3 by virtue of the grant from the London County Council and the assumption by the University of the work of the London Society for the Extension of University Teaching, (fn. 264) rose by 1957-8 to £9,432,390. This sum needs, however, to be adjusted in two respects if a true picture of what had happened is to be obtained. In the first place it is to be remembered that after 1930 Treasury grants to the several schools of the University passed through the University instead of being paid directly to the schools themselves. On this account, the sum of £7,991,022 together with £128,000 which went to the Institute of Education, must first be deducted. In the second, the remainder, £1,313,368, must then be translated into pre-1914 values, at which it is equivalent to approximately £315,000 in 1913. (fn. 265) To this steep increase in annual income the Treasury added from 1945 onwards very substantial capital grants. (fn. 266) They amounted in the single session 1960-1 to £4,858,578, of which £2,905,446 went to Imperial College in pursuance of the Government's policy to improve technical education. (fn. 267)
The consequence of these events was a radical change in the financial situation of the University both internal and external. The University moved from a position approaching financial independence in 1900 to a situation half a century later in which it had become responsible for Treasury grants to its component institutions, and was directly dependent upon parliamentary funds for something like 72 per cent. of their and its own current needs and the bulk of its capital expenditure. (fn. 268) The effect within the University was the increase of the financial control of the University over its constituent bodies. To obtain the Treasury grants for current expenditure the University had to present quinquennially a single co-ordinated document setting out both its own plans and estimates and those of its schools. This was built up, upon the one side, by the teachers, operating through the Boards of Studies, together with those responsible for the central activities of the University, and upon the other by the several institutions, where the teachers again played a part in their collegiate capacity. Once this document had been agreed and the grant made, the distribution pro rata by the Court of what had been vouchsafed was not a difficult or a prolonged operation. But the administration of capital grants was a different matter. These reached the University, like the recurrent grants, as a block allocation, and since they were never sufficient to meet all needs, the University had to establish an order of priorities for all capital projects financed out of Treasury money. The effect upon the external relations of the University of this increased financial dependence upon the State was equally far-reaching. It led inescapably to external interference in matters of academic policy, first appearing in the form of the ear-marked grant. (fn. 269) It faced the University with the prospect that it might cease to be an autonomous institution, a corporate body with a life and values of its own, and become an instrument of public policy.
This phenomenal growth of the University called for the organization of an elaborate administrative machine. The modest establishment of 1838 had by 1960 become an administrative staff of 323, besides a library staff and a large body of domestic employees. The post of Principal Officer was created by the statutes of 1900. The office became that of Principal under the statutes of 1929. (fn. 270)
At the outset the University envisaged the creation of a series of institutes of advanced study, separate from and superior to the departments in its schools and colleges, those dealing with the humanities being grouped in the neighbourhood of the British Museum. (fn. 271) It was only lack of money that prevented the building of an Institute of Chemistry in 1901, and dictated the location of the two University chairs of Chemistry at University College, and the concentration there of the development of Germanic studies at University level. (fn. 272) In the event this plan was abandoned except in the Faculty of Medicine, where something like what was originally thought of was realized with the foundation of the London School of Tropical Medicine (1905), the Post-Graduate Medical School, and the British Postgraduate Medical Federation (1945) with its associated Institutes. (fn. 273) In the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Engineering advanced studies developed within the departments of the several schools and colleges, without the creation of any new institutions external to them. In the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Laws the University followed the federal plan adopted in 1907, founding a series of self-governing postgraduate Institutes located in Bloomsbury, of which the independent staff was limited to a Director with administrative and library assistants, and in which postgraduate training was conducted by teachers drawn from the undergraduate schools. Upon this model were founded Institutes of Historical Research (1921), Advanced Legal Studies (1948), Commonwealth Studies (1949), Germanic Languages and Literature (1950), and Classical Studies (1953). Four Institutes departed from this pattern. The Courtauld Institute of Art (1932), the Institute of Archaeology (1934), and the Warburg Institute (1944) were organized with independent academic staffs of their own; while the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (1932) not only had an independent staff, but also engaged in undergraduate as well as postgraduate work.