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UNIVERSITY REFORM.

half the deliberation that has been expended on the settlement of the affairs of the University of Cambridge were to be bestowed on the more important subject of legislation for our Indian Empire, we might reasonably indulge the expectation that no small degree of statesmanlike wisdom and ability would be shewn in re-organizing the government of that vast and interesting portion of our dominions, even though the task were committed to the hands of Lord Derby and his colleagues. Some time has now elapsed since the expiration of the period given to the Colleges to effect their own reform, so far at least as the result of their deliberations might appear satisfactory to the Commissioners. It could indeed hardly have been expected that the Colleges, acting as they did each on its own account, would originate measures of reform likely to meet the sanction and approval of the Commissioners; since from the diversity of their interests and condition it was not likely that they would coincide in their opinions, whereas the Commissioners are apparently desirous of assimilating in many respects the different bodies which compose this University. Now with regard to Scholarships, surely the changes suggested by the Commissioners are for the most part unnecessary, and as respects section C. clause 2, somewhat inconsistent. For if all Fellowships are to be thrown open to the whole University, what can it matter whether the Scholarships in any particular College be more or fewer than the Fellowships of that College ? but supposing the proportion adopted by the Commissioners to be generally advantageous, it ought rather to be applied to the whole number of Fellowships and Scholarships existing in the University. As the object of Scholarships is to assist deserving students during their Undergraduate career, and to excite a certain degree of emulation, we may perhaps assume with the Commissioners that from £40. to £60. per annum is about the proper amount of emolument that ought to be attached to them, but their number and other considerations connected with them should be determined progressively and according to circumstances by the college to which they belong. That any good can result from either entirely or in part throwing open Scholarships to the competition of the whole University is, to say the least, very questionable ; for it must be considered, first, whether the benefits to be derived from such a course are not equally obtained under the present system; and, secondly, whether some evils would not be attendant on the proposed alterations, from which the present system is free. Now, practically, the scholarships of one college are, by means of migration open to the students of another; and we may safely assume that men will not migrate from one college to another, on this account at least, without a reasonable prospect of success, and that those whose abilities enable them to obtain Scholarships in their own college will not incur the expense of migration to obtain the same advantages elsewhere. So that if we take two colleges A and B, and suppose that the first-year men of B are weak and deficient in their acquirements, the Scholarships at B can be filled by men from A, without draining A of those men whose abilities give the best promise and seem likely to do it most credit; and thus a result highly beneficial to B is obtained without injury to A. But that either the whole number or the majority of Scholarships should be thrown open, must cause prejudice and detriment to the small Colleges, since they individually will be deprived in a great measure of the attractions they offer to their members. If then these arguments be found to hold good, it will be more expedient to retain the present system, than, merely for the sake of saying that we have introduced reform, to bring forward measures not calculated to secure the permanent welfare of the University. Against the last suggestion of the Commissioners, namely, that in all cases where it may be practicable, Scholarships founded in connection with particular schools, &c., shall be thrown open to general competition, we must enter a decided protest ; for such a proceeding would be a wilful and unnecessary setting at nought of the founder's express intention and desire. A certain amount is given with a specific object, but if that bounty be diverted from the channel into which it was designed to flow, if the kindly fertilization be alienated from the soil it was originally intended to enrich, a breach of trust is committed deserving the severest reprehension. It may be urged that sometimes the foundations which these Scholarships were designed to accommodate, either do not avail themselves of their privilege, or else send up inferior candidates; but the reply is obvious, that we do not legislate for exceptional cases but for the general good. To take the most notable example, that of King's College, few, we should imagine, few that are actuated neither by sordid and interested motives, nor by that contemptible spirit of levelling, which is unhappily but too prevalent at the present day, would desire to turn out the common herd to fatten on the rich pasture which it was never contemplated they should enjoy, while those, for whose benefit this ancient and royal foundation was provided, might be excluded from all participation in its advantages. We look forward then with some anxiety to the proceedings of the Commissioners; meanwhile it cannot be expedient, that the present state of uncertainty respecting the tenure of Fellowships and Scholarships should be prolonged further than is absolutely requisite, and we may be permitted to hope that this long preparation may not lead us into a situation resembling that of the Dutchman, who, when about to jump over a ditch, took so long a run, that, when he reached the brink, he was obliged to stop and take breath.

(To be continued.)

whether the benefits to be derived from such a course are not equally obtained under the present system; and, secondly, whether some evils would not be attendant on the proposed alterations, from which the present system is free. Now, practically, the scholarships of one college are, by means of migration open to the students of another; and we may safely assume that men will not migrate from one college to another, on this account at least, without a reasonable prospect of success, and that those whose abilities enable them to obtain Scholarships in their own college will not incur the expense of migration to obtain the same advantages elsewhere. So that if we take two colleges A and B, and suppose that the first-year men of B are weak and deficient in their acquirements, the Scholarships at B can be filled by men from A, without draining A of those men whose abilities give the best promise and seem likely to do it most credit; and thus a result highly beneficial to B is obtained without injury to A. But that either the whole number or the majority of Scholarships should be thrown open, must cause prejudice and detriment to the small Colleges, since they individually will be deprived in a great measure of the attractions they offer to their members. If then these arguments be found to hold good, it will be more expedient to retain the present system, than, merely for the sake of saying that we have introduced reform, to bring forward measures not calculated to secure the permanent welfare of the University. Against the last suggestion of the Commissioners, namely, that in all cases where it may be practicable, Scholarships founded in connection with particular schools, &c., shall be thrown open to general competition, we must enter a decided protest; for such a proceeding would be a wilful and unnecessary setting at nought of the founder's express intention and desire. A certain amount is given with a specific object, but if that bounty be diverted from the channel into which it was designed to flow, if the kindly fertilization be alienated from the soil it was originally intended to enrich, a breach of trust is committed deserving the severest reprehension. It may be urged that sometimes the foundations which these Scholarships were designed to accommodate, either do not avail themselves of their privilege, or else send up inferior candidates; but the reply is obvious, that we do not legislate for exceptional cases but for the general good. To take the most notable example, that of King's College, few, we should imagine, few that are actuated neither by sordid and interested motives, nor by that contemptible spirit of levelling, which is unhappily but too prevalent at the present day, would desire to turn out the common herd to fatten on the rich pasture which it was never contemplated they should enjoy, while those, for whose benefit this ancient and royal foundation was provided, might be excluded from all participation in its advantages. We look forward then with some anxiety to the proceedings of the Commissioners; meanwhile it cannot be expedient, that the present state of uncertainty respecting the tenure of Fellowships and Scholarships should be prolonged further than is absolutely requisite, and we may be permitted to hope that this long preparation may not lead us into a situation resembling that of the Dutchman, who, when about to jump over a ditch, took so long a run, that, when he reached the brink, he was obliged to stop and take breath.

(To be continued.)

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