BEDFORD COLLEGE FOIL WOMEN.
[To THE EDITOR OK THE " SPECTATOR.")
SiRe.—BOdiOrd. College, the largest and oldest University College for women in England, is in need of money. At the- moment when there is an overwhelming demand by women for higher education and training,, it must either refuse admission. to highly- suitable students and starve or close down certain departments, or it must enlarge its buildings and increase its endowments. Seven hundred students new crowd into build- ings:adapted for four hundred and fifty. In the English, Latin, and History departments lectures and classes have. to be repeated several times in the day. In Science departments the supply of instruments and• apparatua ie. so insuffieient that heavy appliances have to be carried from one laboratory to another. Chemistry, with 130 students, has to be satisfied with working places 'for only forty-six. Zoology, with the largest pure science intermediate zoology class in the whole University, is almost equally cramped. Geography- and Geology eentend for the use of the same classrooms, which are encumbered by a double set of appliances. Even after such overcrowding the College has had to shut its doors against women who would benefit by the edueation given. This term it has been, impossible to admit any new students.
.2100,000 is needed for -additional lecture-roome and labora- tories; a second X100,000 for endowment.. The-College activities most urgently in need of endowment are notably : scholarships; the various depariniediffrofficientsa where women are equipped for scientific research and industrial appointmente;• the-depart. merit of Social Studies for the training of Welfare Workers, Health Visitors, and other social workers; the Training Department for Secondary and Continuation School teachers. A third -2100,000 is badly needed for a hostel. As the demand for residents has increased and the housing problem grown more and more acute, all available accommodation has been exhausted. The Council are in. treaty with the Department of Woods and Forests for an admirable site for a hostel just outside the park. This is an opportunity which should, not be missed. Whether it can be taken must depend on the generosity of the public.
Many people unfortunately think that Bedford' College is. rich. But in truth the income of the College is by no means sufficient for its- present needs in view of the enormously increased cost of maintenance and the necessity of raising all salaries, Endowments for scholarships produce barely .2400 a year. In the twenty-seven departments there are no endowed chairs. The salaries of the teaching staff are inadequate in view of the increased cost of living. There are demonstrators with University degrees to wham the College is forced to pay a Tower wage than that earned' by unskilled manual workers.
We do not want to raise the fees. The effect of that would be to destroy one of the features of which the College is most proud—viz., its democratic character. By excluding poorer students it would restrict women's University education to the richer classes. Fortunately for education in England, such a course was not followed in the case of our older Universi- ties. Their work would never have been done had there not lived long ago generous men and women, who believed they could- render no greater public service than by endowing Colleges, and thus furnishing opportunities for rich and poor to acquire sound learning. We hope a like generosity and a like belief exist to-day.
Her Majesty the Queen, Patroness of the College, has expressed interest in the scheme and given a donation. Sub- scriptions should be sent to Viscountess Elveden, Honorary Treasurer of the Bedford College Endowment and Extension Fund, Bedford College, Regent 'e Park, N.W. 1.—We are,
Sir, lac., H. MILDRED GARLIIE (Chairman of the Bedford College Endowment and Extension Fund Committee).
MARGAREr Aannau.s. GWEIMOLEN ELVEDEN. Lsruce FISHER.
ANTHONY H. HAWKINS. ARTHUR STEEL-MAITLAND. MART TALBOT.