3 DECEMBER 1948, Page 3

Universities and Finance •

The annual report of the University Grants Committee, which was published on Tuesday, deals naturally with much the same problems as were discussed by the chairman of the corrunittee, Sir Walter Moberly, in his Rede Lecture at Cambridge a fortnight ago. The Committee exists to allocate to the universities and university colleges of the country, all of which, new and old, were founded by private benefactions, Government grants designed to further the essential purposes of the universities without imposing on them official control. The amount, which before the war was rather over £2,000,000, will have risen by 1952 to about L13,000,000, which will be a good deal more than half the universities' total expenditure. Hitherto a remarkably good understanding has existed between the committee which grants and the institutions which receive, largely because, as Sir Walter Moberly said at Cambridge, "the predominant share in managing any business must ordinarily be taken by the partner who supplies the knowledge and experience rather than the partner who supplies most of the capital." Grave problems are facing the universities today. The Barlow Committee called for a doubling of the number of science students (in the broadest sense) in ten years, with a proportionate increase in arts students. The former aim is almost achieved already, and the arts students have increased by half ; that change in the general balance of studies is of doubtful advantage. In the meantime the need for more laboratories, the increasing cost of all laboratory equipment, the grave shortage of teachers in all faculties in proportion to the increased number of students, the underpayment of teachers, raise financial questions which must seriously exercise future Chancellors of the Exchequer, as they already exercise all Vice-Chancellors and Financial Boards.