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THE UNIVERSITY RECORD
THE BRITISH EDUCATIONAL
During the Autumn Quarter the British Educational Mission to the United States, which was sent by the British government on invitation of the Council of National Defense, visited Chicago. The purpose of the Mission was "to inquire into the best means of procuring closer Co-operation between British and American educational institutions, to the end of making increasingly firm the bonds of sympathy and understanding that now unite the English-speaking world.” The members of the Mission were as follows: Dr. Arthur Everett Shipley, vicechancellor of the University of Cambridge, master of Christ's College and reader in zoology; Sir Henry Miers, vice-chancellor of the University of Manchester and professor of crystallography; the Rev. Edward Mewburn Walker, fellow, senior tutor, and librarian of Queen's College, member of the Hebdomadal Council, Oxford University; Sir Henry Jones, professor of moral philosophy, University of Glasgow; Dr. John Joly, professor of geology and mineralogy, Trinity College, Dublin; Miss Caroline Spurgeon, professor of English literature, Bedford College, University of London; Miss Rose Sidgwick, lecturer on ancient history, University of Birmingham. At the request of the Council of National Defense, the American Council on Education undertook all arrangements for the tour of the Mission. Of the reception committee the Hon. Elihu Root was chairman. The chairman of the committee immediately in charge was President Donald J. Cowling, Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota. The chairman of the Chicago committee was the Vice-President of the University of Chicago, James Rowland Angell. The Mission arrived in Chicago on the
evening of November 7 and was escorted by members of the University to the University Club and the Hotel La Salle, places which remained headquarters until the Mission left the city after visiting the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, the Yerkes Observatory, and the meetings of the Association of State Universities. For the women of the Mission the Chicago College Club gave a luncheon on November
At the same time the University Club gave a luncheon for the gentlemen of the Mission.
The members of the British Mission were escorted to the University of Chicago on Friday morning, November 8, and were received in the President's office by the Vice-President of the University and à reception committee: Mr. Ernest D. Burton, chairman, Mr. R. G. Moulton, Mr. T. C. Chamberlin, Mr. W. G. Hale, and Miss Marion Talbot. After a brief conference the guests visited the General Library and the Classical and Geology Departmental libraries. They then visited certain laboratories in which they were individually interested. At one o'clock Mrs. Harry Pratt Judson entertained the gentlemen of the Mission at luncheon. At the same hour Dean Talbot and other women of the University Faculties entertained the women of the Mission at Nancy Foster Hall. At three o'clock in the theater of Ida Noyes Hall there was a conference. At the tables in the center of the room were Vice-President Angell, and (to his right) Dr. A. E. Shipley, Sir Henry Jones, Dean Shailer Mathews, the Reverend E. M. Walker, Professor Paul Shorey, Miss Rose Sidgwick, Professor E. D. Burton, Mr. W. A. Payne, the Recorder of the University, Dean A. W. Small, Professor R. R. Bensley, Director C. H. Judd, Professor J. H. Breasted, Miss Caroline Spurgeon, Dean R. D. Salisbury, Dr. John J. Joly, and Sir Henry Miers. The following is a stenographic record of the conference:
VICE-PRESIDENT ANGELL: This is an occasion which is altogether unprecedented in our own history and, I suspect, in the history of American colleges. We have an opportunity of talking, in an informal way, with the representatives of the great British universities who are our guests today, particularly with a view to setting on foot such measures as we can intelligently devise to improve the intimacy of our relations with one another, not only as regards our students, but as regards the faculties of our several institutions. It has been suggested to us, and we believe it has been an expression of the preference of our guests, that in place of the more usual formalities of a state visit of distinguished guests, with meetings of the public-assemblage type and formal speeches,
we should come together in this informal way and discuss the topics which seem to us most fruitful for the purpose which brings the Mission here. As the result of a conference of our own Senate, we have ourselves suggested a few topics which seemed, on the whole, profitable for some discussion. We have not designed to make these topics in any sense the coercive program of the afternoon, and we shall be glad to have our guests depart from them at any point they may desire. But we thought it might help to expedite the program if we kept these topics in our own mind and presented them very briefly, and, where they seemed to be particularly profitable for discussion, called upon our guests to make such comment as they cared to make before going on to another subject.
TOPICS SUGGESTED FOR DISCUSSION
1. Motives probably controlling migration of American students. There seems reason to believe that American students are not likely to be attracted in large numbers to British universities for the purpose of securing degrees. On the other hand, the opportunities for advanced study in particular lines and with scholars of eminence are certain to attract many. The great libraries and other collections are likely to be peculiarly tempting. In establishing plans for improving international educational relations due weight should be accorded to these circumstances.
For the use of students who do desire to obtain British degrees there should be an unequivocal interpretation of the relation between the Bachelor's degree from leading American universities and the "pass” and “honor” degrees of the British universities. In the case of British students who may be attracted to American institutions the same understanding is essential. Possibly some central board might be established to certify credentials.
2. Co-ordination of opportunities afjorded by British universities with those of the great libraries and scientific collections. At the present time American students are not always able to avail themselves of the facilities offered by the great British libraries and collections, to say nothing of the possibility of combining such opportunities with study at British universities. If some program involving co-operation on the part of these several agencies could be established it would greatly enhance the attractiveness of study and research in Great Britain.
In this connection attention may be called to the desirability of a larger degree of co-operation on the part of British libraries in the matter of exchanges and of cataloguing systems. American libraries at present find it appreciably more difficult to deal with the British authorities in these matters than with those on the Continent,
3. Provision for distinctly advanced research.-Consideration may properly be given to the wisdom of emphasizing the establishment of highly paid fellowships or other devices of this character to enable young scholars who have already proved their scientific productivity to spend a year or more in Great Britain, studying wherever men and materials are most attractive. This proposal would look to the migration of a small, carefully selected group rather than to the attracting into British institutions of a larger number of graduate students of the ordinary type.
4. Exchange professorships.- Consideration should be given, in the light of past experience, to the best forms of exchange professorships.
5. Anglo-American University Commission. It is suggested that in the furtherance of more intimate relations between the British and American universities there may well be established an Anglo-American University Commission, to the end that such measures as are adopted may reflect the best judgment of the educational authorities of the two countries concerned.
6. The relation of British universities to American soldiers and sailors during the period of demobilization.-It has already been suggested that the British universities may put their resources at the disposal of American soldiers and sailors during the period of demobilization on the lines already more or less matured for Canadians. This plan has very great promise, especially if it be carried out in such a way as to provide short courses which could be attended by properly qualified men. The suggestion is made that if the plan be actually put in operation a certain number of American instructors, drawn from the American Army and Navy, or from American civil life, be secured to assist in establishing the adjustments. Such a plan would not only facilitate the fitting of the student to the opportunities but would also serve to familiarize American educational men with the actual inside workings of British institutions.
Two other suggestions are offered, which it is not at present perhaps desirable to discuss in detail. The one relates to the necessity of bearing constantly in mind the intimate relationship of secondary to collegiate education. Any general program which disregards this consideration is likely to encounter grave difficulties. The other relates to the desirability of preparing a handbook for both American and British students, in which is set forth succinctly but intelligibly the opportunities afforded by the various British and American institutions.
The committee in charge of our meeting has suggested that we begin the discussion with a very brief statement on the part of one or more of our own membership, and so a few of the members of the Faculty have been asked to introduce these topics, and then they will be thrown open to general discussion. I should like to have all the members of the Faculty who are present appreciate the informal character of our discussion. Those who have offered to open the discussion have no desire to monopolize the subject.
The order in which the topics are listed is also quite unimportant; it merely represented the order which seemed to be convenient. The first of the topics which we have suggested—“Motives Probably Controlling Migration of American Students”—was to have been presented by Professor McLaughlin, who has unfortunately just had news of the loss of one of his boys in France and cannot, of course, be present. Professor Mathews has kindly consented to take his place.
PROFESSOR MATHEWS: We are likely to be affected, I suppose, by the experience which American students have had in former years in going to foreign universities to study. Their purposes are, in a way, to be classified under three general heads. In the first place, men
have gone abroad for the purpose of making degrees at foreign universities. At the same time, they have gone for the purpose of pursuing certain distinct, specialized studies and not intending to make a degree. And in the third place, they have gone for what might be called the general humanizing effect of contact with the associations of the academic halls of the great universities abroad.
I should say, Mr. Chairman, that the details governing the first purpose, so far as they apply to the recognition of American universities by English universities, and the granting of degrees thereby, are pretty well cared for in the general plan which we trust the distinguished visitors will unfold to us and explain. The other matter, the desire to pursue certain courses and not make a degree, is, in the opinion of some of us, likely to be the largest element in the migration of American students to British universities, coupled, as of course it will be, with the third motive, that of getting in touch with a different civilization and social life for the sake of the general humanizing effect of such experience.
I fancy that these latter provisions will be more difficult to meet than the first. The building up of a distinct curriculum in which the end shall be a degree is not so very difficult an undertaking. But the offering of opportunities for special research, which is to be co-ordinated with and made a part of the course which students are taking in American universities is something which will require undoubtedly a very considerable amount of adjustment. There is the adjustment, for instance, of the matter of length of courses, of the prerequisites for certain specific courses; there is the difficulty which comes in all kinds of waste of energy between work in two universities. I am inclined to think that there will be a considerable number of students, if the proper arrangements could be made, who would be ready to take one year abroad toward a Doctor's degree, and that number will be vastly larger than the number who would undertake to work for a Doctor's degree completely in the universities of Britain. There will be many also who are not interested in laboratory research, but who are interested primarily in the more human and less technical aspects of life. I cannot help feeling that in that larger field there will be one of the great services the British universities will be in a position to render, both to those who study for a degree there, and to those who wish to relate special courses there to a degree taken in the United States.
VICE-PRESIDENT ANGELL: Dr. Shipley, if you and your colleagues will be quite informal in commenting on these topics as may seem to you good, we shall appreciate it.