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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 4, No. 5. June 6, 1941

What Could Be Done

What Could Be Done

"Salient's" readers are invited to inspect our overseas exchange files, and see what other national student bodies are doing overseas. In England, in spite of the war, the annual conferences of the National Union of Students are being held with as much enthusiastic support as ever. There the national body looks upon the universities as institutions in society that should not only safeguard the past and extend the present field of man's learning and culture, but also as sources of sound and intelligent leadership for all phases of the community's activities. At their conferences the student delegates discuss the problems of what the universities could do as against what they are doing.

"Why do we go to the University, to the Training College? Is there a special job for university-trained men and women to do to-day? How do we fit ourselves for our subsequent role? Do we learn all that we want or need to learn, and in the best possible way? What changes are necessary in the higher education of this country? What role have we as students to play in the world to-day?"

These are the questions considered by English students at their national student body conferences. Why can't we in New Zealand do something along these lines? There are doubtless many loopholes for irrelevant and factional wranglers in such problems as these. But if our delegates could meet with well thought out contributions to make on these same problems as they offset us as students in the New Zealand community, much very good work could be done in giving some real point to our university training.

This may sound a little Utopian, but it is working very well in England, where the student population is alive to the fact that not only does the university give them a chance to fit into a better material groove in society, but can and should fit them to become the moving force behind the supporters of learning and social progress. We mighn't do much for a start, but it's time we got going along these lines so that N.Z.U.S.A. may become a real leader, not only in university life in New Zealand, but in the general communal life of this country. In England all the colleges consider these problems separately, and some even have conferences of their own to thrash them out before their delegates attend the national conference.

It would be an excellent extension if it could be brought about here. It needs the full support of all the students throughout New Zealand. N.Z.U.S.A. can't be said to have this just now, but it is a young body, and will doubtless gain momentum as it goes. These are suggestions worth bearing in mind—what do you think, other colleges?

Gurth W. Higgin.