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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 18, No. 12. September 6, 1954



The second criticism comes from Sir John Stopford. the Vice-Chancellor of the university of Manchester who spent some weeks in New Zealand . . . about the beginning of this year. . . . After his return to England there appeared . . . the following report of an interview with him regarding his impressions of his tour, . . . The report referred to the appreciation of the value of a university which Sir John found in Ceylon and then proceeded to contrast that appreciation with what lie found in New Zealand. The report reads as follows:

"But—and here is a contrast rarely pointed—in New Zealand he found a complete lack of comprehension among all classes of the pensates for the fact that his stud-in the national life. The most significant indication of this, said Sir John, is that not one of New Zealand's four colleges was included in the itinerary for the Royal tour. Partially to account for this, he explains that the university there has many very special and particular problems.

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"It consists of four colleges which until recently had a principal each, but no vice-Chancellor or equivalent head common to them all. Grants were made collectively with the general grant for schools, and were meagre in the extreme. Further, very few of the students had any sense of the university as anything but a kind of cramming establishment where they could take a course that would equip them with a certain skill or make them proficient for a certain profession. There were among them almost no idea of the kind of corporate life that is peculiar to universities and so vital a part of the blessings that they endow.

"The clearest sign of this attitude lay. Sir John found, in the views of the part-time students. There were in some colleges almost as many of these as there were full-time students, and none of them seemed to feel that they were missing something that the others were getting."

According to the report, Sir John further found that the University of New Zealand had failed to integrate itself into the wide and deep cultural interests of the New Zealander, as evidenced by bin observation of the number of bookshops in the country and by his conclusions that poetry seemed to be more widely read in New Zealand than in England and that bus conductors, shop assistants and waiters appeared to be on far better terms with the world of literature than their equivalents in Great Britain.