In the University was a teaching institution, with faculties and a professorate.
Willson's treatment of the processes through which this happened was preceded by his Our Minerva: The Men and Politics of the University of London, — and will be succeeded by a volume on the history of London in the twentieth century. Willson begins with a description of the composition of the Senate and the Congregation.
He turns then to discuss the Congregation and its effect on university politics; the struggle of the Senate and Congregation for the admission of women as students and graduates; the university as a parliamentary seat up to ; and the developments within the University over secondary education and teacher training. Finally, Willson [End Page ] takes up the protracted and murky struggles within the Senate, Convocation, Parliament, and government that produced a federal university that taught, examined, and conducted research.
This book is chiefly about the relations between the Senate—with its metropolitan and scientific, medical, and centralizing interests—and the Congregation—with its decentralizing and provincial impulses—many of whose members were teachers. These relations, however, offer a prism through which wider conflicts and controversies can be understood.
The controversy, for example, as to whether degrees should be opened to all, irrespective of where and how they were prepared, stoked criticisms of provincial institutions, which one participant in these disputes said "stink of illiberality. No small matters: science and medicine against the arts, the provinces against the metropolis, teachers in the Congregation against the examiners in the Senate.
Willson sets these controversies, ambitions, and jealousies within wider patterns and processes of social and political change: demands for a broader franchise, a detachment from confessional tests, social improvement, and professional standing by teachers and their organizations in universities and in the schools.
One especially interesting feature of the tale Willson tells is the way it exposes the multidimensionality of nineteenth-century liberalism. The University was itself a center of Victorian liberalism: middle-class, dissenting, strongly professional, and secular. But these forces were internally riven. On national questions members of the University went one way; on university questions they went another. In the parliamentary contest for the University seat between Frederick Harrison and Sir John Lubbock, the medicos and lawyers in the Congregation broke sharply for Lubbock, the Liberal Unionist, and against Harrison, the Liberal.
On the reconstruction of the University the sides were reversed: medicos and scientists tended toward support of new concepts of a university; arts graduates, the Liberal members of the Congregation in the provinces, tended toward opposition, the preservation of the Congregation's veto over change in the University, and defense of provincial institutions. Willson's is not an internal history, nor does he intend it to be. The University of London was a creature of Senate and Congregation, but it was also attached to government and two Royal Commissions attempted to settle its fate.
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As a consequence, Willson draws not only on the University's minutes and proceedings, the votes and the debates This unofficial history explores the secrets of its longevity, from its creation in to today, examines a variety of controversies, and profiles the flamboyant figures who have shaped its unique brand of journalism.
Palimpsest A History of the Written Word. Matthew Battles. Arranged by the area of London they lived in, worked in or visited, David Long's personal selection of interesting figures from the last few hundred years of the capital's history includes heroes and villains, the famous and the relatively unknown.
The University of London, The Politics of Senate and Convocation | KSA | Souq
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The University of London, 1858-1900 : the politics of Senate and Convocation
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