30 MAY 1969, Page 16

A hundred years ago

From the 'Spectator,' 29 May 1869—The result of the first examination for women in the Uni- versity 'of London has recently been announced. As Lord Granville mentioned in his public address a fortnight ago, there were precisely nine candidates,—classical and suggestive number, re- marked his Lordship,—though there had been very little notice of the examination, and though a sound elementary knowledge of Latin and two other languages, arithmetic and geometry, natural philosophy, and either chemistry or botany, was required from the candidates, as well as English history and physical geometry,—the standard of the examination being generally that of the matriculation examination,—i.e. one adapted to test a good school education. The result was rather curious. Of the nine muses who presented them- selves, three, we regret to say, were not accepted by the University; but of the other six, all passed in the honours' division. That is, two-thirds passed in the honours' division, and one-third was re- jected. With the young men, the average rule is that only some fifteen per cent., or so, pass in the honours' division, perhaps thirty per cent, in the first division, and that somewhere about half are rejected. Probably, these pioneers of learning among the girls were picked specimens. If not, the lads must look to their laurels.