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The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review October 1911

University Reform in New Zealand

page 24

University Reform in New Zealand.

Published by the General Editors—Professors Hunter, Laby, and von Zedlitz—under the direction of the University Reform Association.

The University Reform Association is to be congratulated on the vigour with which it is pushing the campaign for reform in the University system.

The pamphlet, which has just been issued, places before the public, in compact from, a clear statement of the present position of the New Zealand University.

This alone, without the suggestive comment which the editors have added, is more than sufficient to prove the need for immediate inquiry.

It is satisfactory to note that the editors have made is perfectly obvious that the University Reform Association is asking for many other things besides merely a reform of the examination system.

The publication of the pamphlet will serve to remove the misapprehension existing in the minds of a large section of the public, that the main plank in the reformers' platform is the abolition of the external examination.

The most fatal defect of our University system is, as a matter of fact, the lack of money. Unless the country is prepared to spend a great deal more money than it does at present on University education, it will be practically useless to reform the organization, or to adopt a same method of appointment of professors, or to do away with the external examination.

All these things are very valuable and very necessary but without largely increased university expenditure they will not enable the New Zealand University to take a dignified position among the universities of the world. The editors of the pamphlet have, therefore, shown wisdom in showing by comparison with other university the beggarly condition of the New Zealand University, and in stressing the necessity of financial reform. A considerable portion of the pamphlet is taken up in giving the opinions of a large page 25 number of educational authorities abroad on the organization and examination system of the New Zealand University.

Practically all the opinions support, in the main, the contentions of the Reform party, and the opponents of reform must now realise that they have ranged against them the most eminent educational authorities in the world.

The pamphlet has made out a strong case for a Parliamentary inquiry into the University system. It remains to be seen whether Parliament will be able to spare any time form electioneering dodges. To devote a short space top a consideration of the needs of higher education in this county.