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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 1, No. 18 August 3, 1938

Where is Culture?

Where is Culture?

What is a University? Is it a centre of Intellectual life? It was in the middle ages, in the first fine flush which created the University alongside the cathedral as the twin embodiment of the spirit of the age, in Paris, in Oxford, in Seville, in Padua. It is, perhaps, to-day in Prague, as it was in the days of Charles IV, when Bohemia hold out the lamp of learning to the Slav shadow in the east. But it was not in the 18th century Oxford or 19th century Harvard, and is not in many places throughout Europe and America to-day.

If Cambridge is a University, what is Columbia with its 30,000 students pouring tumultuously in and out of its great lecture rooms as the crowds of New York's typists pour in and out of their offices? America likes to confine the word University to a place which has a Graduate School, though it has not a complete success in its limitation. But its 18,000 men and women in graduate school differ as much from the English conception of University as does the little college with its 800 boys and girls doing Liberal Arts. All English and American types differ from the Continental "technical high school" as that differs from the complete University with its bearded Doctors of Philosophy to be. I presume, though I do not know, that all these western types shade away into incompatibilities as one goes East (except in so far as the Eastern University is but an artificial importation from the West).