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the examinations for the ordinary M.A. degree is rising steadily, if slowly, in quality; but the number of students who come up to the university with insufficient training is still very large, and the proportion seems scarcely to have diminished. The University of Glasgow has established an entrance examination for all students below the age of seventeen, and has thus prevented boys who ought still to be at school, and who cannot pass that examination, from obtaining university privileges; but the main difficulty has always been with students above that age. The best test that I can give in Latin is derived from the numbers of the Junior Latin class. That class consists of those who either fail to pass the simple examination required for entrance to the Middle class, or who prefer to enter the Junior class rather than face the ordeal of the examination. In the past session the Junior Latin class contained 119 students, of whom 81 failed to pass the examination, whilst at least one-half of the remainder would probably have done so had they attempted it. I have before me the results of a similar examination with a similar standard for the year 1874-75, and I find that the proportion of those who failed in the latter year was no greater, scarcely so great, as the proportion of those who have failed in this. In other words, of the total number of students coming up to the university in the year 1886-87, fully as large a proportion were insufficiently prepared in Latin as in the year 1874-75. Now such students, so far as Latin is concerned, ought not to be attending the university at all. The work which they need to do is not university work, but school work; and the university is not fitted, and ought not to be fitted, to give

it to them. It is not merely that they know little Latin, and make perpetual blunders on elementary points of grammar; but their minds have not been systematically trained, either in that or in any other subject. They have not been systematically taught to get up and to master any intellectual subject whatever. They do not understand the principles of language, they cannot take in and assimilate in an intelligent way the explanations which are given to them. They have not been taught to think, or to express themselves clearly, not always even grammatically, in their own language. Not a few even of those who pass the examination for the Middle class labour more or less under the same difficulties. These students may know the main forms of the language moderately well,— they may have learnt the more common parts of the accidence by heart,-but their minds are not trained instruments; they have not been taught to discern and appreciate the fine distinctions upon the perception of which all scholarship depends, and which constitutes the real educational value of classical training; they have little quickness and versatility in applying what they know or learn, unless it be presented to them exactly in the same way as that in which they originally learned it. Hence their progress is necessarily slow, and is perpetually retarded, not merely by ignorance of Latin, but by an ignorance of English and by a want of general knowledge, and in consequence a large proportion of the best teaching of the class passes over their heads altogether.

Now if we look at the age of these students, we do not find that they are mere boys. Out of 119 who constitute the junior class, only 17 are below seventeen years of age; and we may regard seven


as being the natural and normal age for entering the university. With regard, therefore, to the 102 students who are above seventeen years of age, the evil does not consist in the fact that they have entered the university too soon, but that they never carried their school course to a satisfactory point at all. Some of them have not been at school for years, having been engaged in various employments during the interval.

2. Now, what are the schools from which these 119 defectivelytrained students come? 50 of the number have never had any other education but that of the ordinary public school; 45 have received their main education at such schools, supplemented with a year or two at a secondary school; 23 only were educated at secondary schools. If we take the schools at which the whole body of students both in the Middle and Junior classes were educated that is, practically, the whole of the ordinary first-year students-the result is that, of the whole number, only 20 per cent were educated entirely at secondary schools, while 46 per cent were educated entirely at elementary schools; 31 per cent were educated partly at elementary and partly at secondary schools, and 3 per cent privately or away from Scotland.

here is, that only 20 per cent of the students in the Junior and Middle classes taken together were educated at secondary schools. A comparison with former years shows that the proportion of such students is declining; for in 1873-74 the proportion of such students was 35 per cent; in 1874-75, it was 34 per cent. It would appear that from that time onwards the percentage of students educated at secondary schools has decreased, until now it amounts to no more than 20 per cent. On the other hand, the proportion of students. who have supplemented an elementary school education with a year or more at a higher school has increased. In 1875-76 the proportion of such students was no more than 9 per cent; in the present year it amounts to 31 per cent.

It will be interesting further to compare the total number of students in all the Latin classes taken together-Senior, Middle, and Junior--in two different years. The addition of the Senior class into the calculation makes a marked difference upon the figures, as that class includes most of those well-prepared students who are able on entering to pass the preliminary examination for the three-years' course. A comparison of the years 1875-76 and 1886-87 comes out as follows. Of the total number of students

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public schools, as well as in that of those who have added a year or two of secondary education to an elementary school course.

It will thus be seen that there has been a serious decrease in the number of students who have received a complete education at secondary schools; there has been 3. The next point to consider a distinct increase in the number is the character of the work of those who come from ordinary done at the university by stu

dents coming from these differ- and 1885-86. Out of a total of

121 prizes gained in all the Latin classes in those three years, I find that 89 were carried off by students who had been educated for not less than three years at a secondary school: only 30 by students either entirely educated at elementry schools, or who had been for less than three years at a secondary school. In the Greek classes for the same three years there were 143 prizes gained. Of these, 108 were gained by secondary school students (defined as above), only 33 by elementary school students. This test, however, is scarcely sufficient in it

ent classes of schools. For this purpose let us take first the various higher examinations, the passing of which implies distinction on the part of the student. The best first-year students enter for the Preliminary Examination, which admits to the three-years' course in Arts. In November 1886, 35 students passed this examination in Latin. Of these, no less than 31 were educated at secondary schools. Previous years exhibit similar figures: and it may be said generally, that almost the whole of those who pass this examination come from secondary schools. The main exceptions self. It is no doubt a fact that, come from Garnethill and similar schools, in which a systematic effort is made to organise a regular secondary course. Second, let

us take the annual Bursary Competition, success in which is the great object of ambition for firstyear students. In November 1885 there were 59 names placed upon the distinguished list. Of these, 49 came from secondary schools, 4 from Garnethill, 2 from other public schools. In November 1886, there were 44 names on this list. Of these, 40 came from secondary schools in Scotland, 2 from similar schools in England, 2 from public schools under School Boards in Scotland. These facts tell their own tale. They show that, except in cases where special provision has been made to add on a systematic course of really higher instruction, the ordinary board-schools cannot prepare students so as to take a distinguished place when they enter the university.

Next, let us examine the various prize-lists in the different classes of the university. I take first the prizes that have been gained in the Latin classes in the three sessions, 1883-84, 1884-85,

in many cases, students who have had an imperfect previous training at school make good their deficiencies at the university; and it might be expected that in the later years of the university course, especially in the subjects of Literature and Philosophy, the difficulties caused by a lack of classical training at the outset would be overcome, and that the greater zeal and ability of students who have found their way to the university from elementary schools would enable them to come conspicuously to the front. But the facts as a whole show that this is not so. The secondary school students appear to retain their advantage from the beginning of the course to the end, though there is undoubtedly a certain proportion of students who belong to the class described above, and who make such good use of their time at the university that they rise above many of those who outstripped them during their first session. I may explain that the figures here given, though substantially accurate, are not exhaustive, as there is a small number of the prizemen whose school

statistics I have not been able to trace. This defect, however, will not alter the proportion for the numbers given. Thus, of those who gained prizes in the English Literature class during the three years given above, and under the same conditions, twenty-nine prizemen were educated at secondary schools, nineteen at ordinary public schools. In the class of Logic, sixty prizemen were educated at secondary schools, twenty-nine at elementary schools. In the Moral Philosophy class, forty-seven prizemen were educated at secondary schools, twenty-seven at elementary schools. And it should be observed that amongst those classed as coming from elementary schools have been included all those who have supplemented their elementary school education with one or two years at a secondary school. If we take the whole of the five literature classes together, the result is as follows: 333 prizemen in all were educated at secondary schools, as against 138 only at an elementary school; and it is to be noted that even of those who are put down as belonging to elementary schools, a considerable proportion-between one-half and onethird-have supplemented their elementary school education with one or two years at secondary school. We have thus the very remarkable result that, whereas only from twenty to thirty per cent of our students-less than one-third of the entire numberhave obtained the whole of their education at secondary schools, these students carry off at least three times as many prizes in the literary classes as those coming from public or other elementary schools. In other words, their numbers are as one to three, their distinctions are as three to one.

The results of the work done in


the Mathematical and Philosophy classes form a distinct contrast to the figures given above; and it is evident at a glance that the mathematical and arithmetical training in the ordinary public schools of the country is of a higher quality than their literary work. In the Mathematical class, during the three sessions already given, the elementary schools have the superiority: 47 prizes were gained by secondary school students, as against 61 by students from elementary schools. But in the Natural Philosophy class the proportion is reversed: 27 prizes were gained by secondary school students, 24 by elementary. It will be observed here that in neither case do the elementary school students hold their own proportionately for their numbers with the others; and in Natural Philosophy, where higher mental capacity is called into play, the majority of the prizemen come from secondary schools.

Now are these conclusions true of Glasgow only. Through the kindness of some of the professors in the University of Edinburgh, I have obtained similar statistics with regard to the prizemen in that university also. They are not quite complete, and I have no statistics to show whether the proportion between elementary and secondary school students is or is not the same as that which prevails in Glasgow ; but taking all the prizemen for the present year in the classes of Latin, Greek, Logic, and Mathematics, I find that by far the largest number of prizes were gained by students coming from secondary schools, and that students educated at elementary schools did not gain more than 20 per cent, in some cases rising to 30 per cent, of the total number of prizes gained.

All these facts point in the same

country in a prosperous, or even satisfactory condition.

direction. They show that a student who has been systematically trained from the commencement No doubt there are many cases with a view to a higher education, of students of ability, nay, even of has the advantage over other stu- genius, coming from the humblest dents throughout the world of his homes in the country, who could university course. They show that never have approached the univerit is only in comparatively rare in- sity at all had they been obliged stances-instances in which, with- to enter it through the portal of a out great natural ability, and with- secondary school. But such stuout an ambition to correspond, the dents are the exception, not the student would probably never have rule. Men of such fibre and quathought of coming to the univer- lity are pretty certain to rise to sity at all—that the deficiencies of their natural level under any cirearly training can be made up for cumstances, and they know how during the years of the university to take advantage of the very slencourse. They show conclusively derest opportunities for higher that it is to the secondary schools education which may have been of the country that the universities afforded to them. But in dealing must look for the supply of their with national education, we must best brain-power; and that if we consider not so much the exceptions are to reach a really high level of as the mass; and if we expect the attainment in the universities, it higher education of the country to must be by encouraging, by im- be maintained at a high level by proving, by calling into existence cases which are necessarily excep secondary schools or let us rather tional in their character, the whole say schools, by whatever name they public machinery of education may be called, in which a really will break down. We must prosystematic course of secondary vide for the average student the education is carried out. Those kind and amount of education who consider that it is the main function of the university to reach a high standard of excellence, and that to the country at large the quality of the work done by Honour students is of more importance than the work done by Pass students, must regard the students who have received a high previous training as forming the very life-blood of the university. It is a matter, therefore, of essential importance to the interests of the higher learning of the country, and to the universities themselves, that public attention should be attracted to this fact, that it is to the maintenance, proper equip ment, and, if necessary, the improvement of secondary schools, that we must look if we desire to see the higher education of the

which experience has shown that the average student requires. We will hail with acclamation those who can rise in spite of the deficiencies of our educational machinery, but we must not make their case a reason for dispensing with that machinery altogether.

Comparisons are frequently drawn between the higher education given at elementary public schools of to-day, with that which used to be given in the old parish schools of Scotland; but the analogy is a misleading one. The old parish schoolmaster was frequently successful in preparing students for the university, partly because he was himself probably a university man, partly perhaps because he devoted to them too large a proportion of his time. The

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