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It will perhaps be the most useful form for this introduction to take if we place ourselves in the position of an enquirer who is anxious to go to a University and wishes in the first instance to have some data to help him to decide what University to select, and after that to have some conception of the kind of course that lies before him. We will suppose that for some reason or other he chooses the University of Durham, and we will endeavour to trace his course, step by step, in such a way as may be of practical service to him.
The University was originally founded, in days when Oxford and Cambridge were not so easy of access as_they are now, as ,a University for the North of England. The change of circumstances may have made this local want less pressing. But in the mean time the University of Durham has developed a certain definite character and certain distinctive features, which the enquirer will duly weigh in their bearings upon his own individual
These distinctive features may be said to be the following:
Economy.-The expenses of a careful student for his whole course may be kept down, at University College, to about £175; at Bishop Hatfield Hall to about £150; and for Unattached Students still less, if the student is a good manager. At the same time the general average expense would not greatly exceed these sums, and the whole tone of the University is economical.
The length of the Course. The amount of residence required is less than at the older Universities.
The Degree in Arts and the Licence in Theology may each be obtained at the end of six terms or
The Theological Course.—The subject of Theology has assigned to it a full course of two years, so arranged as to give a fairly complete grounding. In this respect it is placed on a level with the Arts course; but reasons are given later on why those who can do so should adopt the Arts course in preference.
Special facilities offered to members of certain Theological Colleges connected with the University. Theological Students who have completed a residence of two years, and passed all their Examinations, at any of the following Theological Colleges S. Aidan's, S. Augustine's, S. Bees, Chichester, Cumbrae, Edinburgh, Gloucester, Lichfield, Lincoln, the Theological Department of King's College, London, and the Theological Department of Queen's College, Birmingham-may obtain the Degree of B.A. at Durham by residing three ordinary terms, and passing the Final Examination in Arts. Half terms of five weeks may be kept. It is not necessary that the terms should be kept consecutively.
Physical Science. While the Medical School is on much the same footing as similar institutions elsewhere, the School of Physical Science has the advantage of being in close proximity to the coal-fields and large factories, with opportunities for observing the practical application of theoretical principles.
Fuller details on most of these points will be given below. It will, however, be seen that while possessing the general characteristics of the older Universities in the College system, with residence and regular University education, the University of Durham holds out special facilities to those whose University career has been–from whatever causedelayed, or who are obliged to undertake it with comparatively limited means. It also affords a suitable preparation for candidates for Holy Orders.
THE student who has decided upon entering the University will next have to decide which of its main branches he will wish to follow. These branches are four in number—(i.) Arts, (ii.) Theology, (iii.) Physical Science, (iv.) Medicine.
The first two have their centre at Durham, the last two at Newcastle. It is proposed at present to deal only with the former group, Arts and Theology. The student will have to decide (a) which of these he will take up, (B) whether he will be a candidate for the Pass Degree or for Honours.
(a) Arts and Theology.—It is usually safe to recommend the Arts Course, even to candidates for Holy Orders, where they come from school with a sound previous training in Classics or Mathematics. The Arts Course gives the wider and more liberal education, and it also supplies a more efficient instrument for the acquisition of future knowledge. A man who has been well grounded in classical philology will have a good preparation for the study of the New Testament. And the study of Philosophy and Logic will give him breadth of view and discipline his powers of reasoning, while acquaintance with classical models will enlarge and cultivate his taste. Special studies, on the other hand, are apt to have a narrowing effect, and to deaden the power of sympathy with that which lies outside them. Some such considerations as these have, no doubt, had an influence upon public opinion. The Degree in Arts stands highest in general estimation. It is thought and not altogether wrongly) to give a better guarantee that the
holder of it has reached the ideal combination of “ the scholar and the gentleman."
The rule that has just been given will, however, suggest its own exceptions. Where there has not been a sound previous training in Classics or Mathematics—where the student is anxious to take Orders as soon as possible, or cannot trust his own ability to get up the Arts course in such a way as to make it an efficient instrument of future selfeducation, it will clearly be better to work up the one subject of Theology with some thoroughness than to spend two years in acquiring an imperfect knowledge of the Classics, and then have to lay it aside in order to obtain a mere smattering of Theology. In such a case the Theological Course will have the advantage of being a nearly direct preparation both for the future career and also for the more immediate demands of the Bishop's Examination. There are also some cases where financial considerations may be allowed to come in to determine a student of fair attainments and ability to compete for a Theological rather than a Classical Scholarship, on account of the less formidable character of the competition.
The balance of argument either way should be carefully weighed by the individual, with the advice of his tutor or someone who is able to form a correct estimate of his powers, and has himself had experience of a University education.
(B) Pass and Honours. It is no doubt desirable that all who are qualified to read for Honours should do so. If they can afford to stay up three years instead of two, so much the better. At the same time it is much better to have a thorough elementary training than to fail by being too ambitious. The advice of tutors should be sought in cases of doubt. The question of Pass or Honours is one which can be left for decision until after a student has entered the University.