5 DECEMBER 1885, Page 14


Sin,—The problem before Convocation at the London Uni- versity is not merely of the simple nature supposed in Dr. Pye Smith's letter to you. The desires which the London Univer- sity is asked to satisfy are not only the desires of a great eity for a University, but the desires of candidates for degrees. A large majority of Convocation would not have rejected a scheme elaborated with such care by the most able and distinguished graduates of the University if "the pursuit of higher studies in literature and science, and all that makes trite University life," had been alone in question.

But the fact is that large and complex schemes intended to alter profoundly the constitution of the University are mistrusted by Convocation because of its unanimously declared resolution to maintain the present high standard of the ordinary London University degree. For Convocation is aware that the move- ment now stirring within it arose in the hope of creating in London true University life, after the manner of life in other Universities, whose manner differs from the manner of the London University in one essential particular,—namely, that at all other Universities there is provision of degrees for candidates on such terms that an average man with average effort can obtain a degree. Whereas Convoeation has declared by its unanimous vote that it will not allow the average candidate at the Landon University to obtain with average effort an ordinary degree.

At present the London University treats its candidates as the Cambridge University would treat its candidates, supposing that it only gave degrees to its Wranglers and Senior Optimes, —rejecting all whose acquirements are inferior. And Convoca- tion has declared that it will still adhere to this high and severe exclusion of average claims. The majority of Convocation perceive that schemes of a revolutionary type overtly aimed at altering .the constitution of the London University, until it resembles the constitution of ordinary Universities, must, as they come into and, as they continue in operation, ultimately cause the London University to do what ordinary Universities

do in conceding degrees to all the students of constituent Colleges who have shown a fair average of diligence and intelli- gence in the course of their studies.—I am, Sir, &c.,

Finsbury Circus, December 2nd. W. MoxoN.