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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 18, No. 1. March 3, 1954


Even if the University of New Zealand were to be abolished completely today, we would have to create an organisation largely similar to it tomorrow to deal with the central function of the University system in New Zealand. Since well over 80 per cent of the income of the Colleges is derived from a central Government, and since Now Zealand needs some central co-operation in standards for its University degrees, and needs coordination between the Colleges in the interests of hundreds of students who remove from centre to centre yearly, and since a great number of Scholarships, research funds and other matters have to be centrally organised yearly, it is clear that whatever it is named, some coordinating University body is and will be established. The special Professional Schools throughout New Zealand are Special Schools of the University of New Zealand and to regulate the establishment and location of new ones, and assist the development of existing ones, some centralised policy is needed. Moreover, it is wise that there should be a body which can study the philosophy and development of University education in a small growing community on a Dominion-wide basis.

At this Conference I want to tell you about the functions performed by the University and to tell you where the fees you pay for examinations go; to outline the directions of evolution which the University is taking at the moment and perhaps suggest what the pattern of the future is likely to be. Before going into more detail, however, let me say again that I understand perfectly that loyalties are strongest in smallest and most Intimate communities. In education, starting with the family where ties are usually strongest, we often find that school loyalties can remain stronger than college loyalties throughout the life of the individual.

Similarly, loyalty to the University College where you live and study and make friends in naturally much stronger than any loyalty you might feel to a remote University of New Zealand which only examines you and charges you for the privilege of sitting examinations and conferring degrees upon you. That is all perfectly understandable and right, yet it is also true that many New Zealand graduates, specially when they go overseas, do find themselves merging their national pride with their pride in belonging to the University, so that often at a late stage a certain loose loyalty to the University does emerge. Whatever feelings you may have about the University, there is little call for you while you are actually studying in one of the University Colleges to have any particularly warm feelings about the University, which seems only to take your money and give precious little in return. However, the University docs have vital functions concerning all of you, and I do want members of the Conference to have more knowledge about it because, like everybody else, remote as we arc from the actual teaching of students and personal daily contact with teachers, with all the warmth of personal relationships that these entail, we would prefer to live in an atmosphere of reasonable understanding and even tolerance: perhaps in extreme cases, even appreciation! We sometimes feel that captious criticism is rather more often directed at our work than the circumstances warrant and only lack of a true understanding of the University's functions and activities could be the reason for this.

Dr. G. A. Currie, vice-chancellor of the University of New Zealand.

Dr. G. A. Currie, vice-chancellor of the University of New Zealand.