11 NOVEMBER 1949, Page 5

Professor A. L. Goodhart is not getting as much support

as he probably hoped for his suggestion that the very lengthy Long Vaca- tion at British universities should be substantially abbreviated. There is a good deal to be said on both sides of this question, and Professor Goodhart has been more successful in stimulating critics than supporters to expression. It is no doubt true that most members of most faculties, and possibly most undergraduates, use the stretch of months between the third week of June and the second of October to the best advantage. (This applies primarily to Oxford and Cambridge, the vacation at other British universities being rather shorter.) At the same time, to take only one point, it is a little anomalous that the public grants—up to £275 a year— by which the great majority of undergraduates benefit are given for less than half the year spent at the university and more than half away from it, with some reservation in the case of Cambridge, where a voluntary Long Vacation term exists. General opinion is clearly against any substantial curtailment of the Long Vacation, but the extension of the Easter term by a week or even a fortnight might well be considered. * * *