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House of Commons an address to his Majesty, praying him to confer upon the University of London the power of granting degrees. This address was carried by a very large majority, upwards, if we recollect right, of a hundred; and on the dissolution of Sir Robert Peel's cabinet, almost immediately afterwards, and the accession of Lord Melbourne to power, it was thought that there could now be no longer any pretext for delay, and that the charter would be granted as a matter of course. Lord Melbourne's cabinet, however, instead of granting a charter to the University of London, as it was then called, adopted another course, which conferred a much greater advantage upon the community in general. The difficulty of the case was this : since the establishment of the University of London, other collegiate institutions had been founded in various parts of the country, and one of considerable importance and pretensions in London itself. If, therefore, a charter had been granted to the University of London, it could not have been well refused to other colleges, and the consequence would have been that we should have had a number of colleges, each possessing the power of granting degrees, and many of them ready to grant them on easy terms. Degrees would thus have become of little value, like too many of those on the other side of the Atlantic, and would have ceased to be honourable distinctions for proficiency in arts and science. To guard against this evil, it was determined to confer upon certain individuals, who should form one body, corporate and politic, by the name of the University of London, the power of granting degrees in arts, law, and medicine. The old University of London consented to drop its name, and to be called henceforth, “University College," and the persons constituting the University of London, had the power of conferring degrees upon all persons educated at University College and King's College, “or such other institutions, corporated or unincorporated, as then were, or hereafter should be, established, for the purposes of education, whether in the metropolis or elsewhere.” In consequence of the opportunity thereby afforded, Highbury and Homerton Colleges, and, subsequently, Spring Hill College, at Birmingham, applied in the course of last year, for this privilege, which was immediately granted.*
The University of London consists of a chancellor, vice-chancellor, and certain fellows, who are nominated by the crown. The whole of its proceedings are under the inspection of the home secretary of state, and its expences are defrayed, so far as they are not provided for by fees for degrees, by an annual grant from parliament. The chancellor, vicechancellor, and fellows, appoint examiners to conduct the examination of candidates for degrees. The university has the power, as we have already said, of granting degrees in arts, law, and medicine ; but
* A copy of the royal warrant, which empowers Highbury to issue certificates to candidates for degrees in the University of London, is given in this magazine, October, 1840, p. 705, and that to Homerton appeared in our last number, p. 296.
as the students of our colleges are only concerned with the first of these, we shall confine our observations to the mode in which they are to be obtained.
Every candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Arts, must previously have matriculated at the university. Any one may offer himself for the matriculation examination, provided he has completed his sixteenth year; he need not belong to a college, which is incorporated with the university. The matriculation examination takes place once a year, and commences on the first Monday in October. The fee is £2, which is paid before the examination, and is returned to the candidate if he fail to pass. The examination last four days, and is conducted in the following order :
Morning, 10 to 1.
Afternoon, 3 to 6.
Thursday ... The English language. One Greek and one Latin book are specified as the subjects for examination in classics at least a year previously. The classical subjects for last year were the ninth book of the Iliad of Homer and the Ingurthine War of Sallust, and those for the present year are the first book of the Cyropædia of Xenophon and the first book of the Georgics of Virgil. In the other subjects mentioned above, the candidates are required to possess the following amount of information :
The ordinary rules of arithmetic.
Explain the composition and resolution of statical forces.
power to the weight in each.
* A popular knowledge only of these subjects in natural philosophy is required, such as may be attained by attending a course of experimental lectures.
Define the centre of gravity.
they may be illustrated.
the depth. Define specific gravity, and show how the specific gravity of bodies may be
ascertained. Describe and explain the barometer, the siphon, the common pump and forcing.
pump, and the air-pump. Acoustics.
Describe the nature of sound.
State the laws of reflection and refraction.
the supporters of combustion, the combustibles, and the metals.
NATURAL HISTORY. BOTANY. The characters and differences of the natural classes and principle orders of
phanerogamous plants belonging to the flora of Europe, in the botanical clas
sification of De Candolle. Zoology. The characters of the primary divisions of the animal kingdom, and of the classes and orders of the vertebrate sub-kingdom, according to the system of Cuvier.
THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. The grammatical structure of the language. Proficiency in composition is judged of by the style of answers generally.
OUTLINES OF HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY. History of England to the end of the seventeenth century. The papers in classics contain questions in history and geography.
The examination for the degree of Bachelor of Arts takes place once a year, and commences on the last Monday in May. Every student may become a candidate for the Bachelor of Arts degree at the end of two academical years of the time of his passing the matriculation examination, provided he produces certificates to the following effect :
1. Of having been a student during two years at one of the colleges incorporated with the university.
2. And of good conduct as far as their opportunities of knowledge have extended.
The fee for the Bachelor of Arts degree is £10, and is returned to the candidate, if he fail to pass the examination.
The examination lasts four days, and is conducted in the following order :
Morning, 10 to 1.
Afternoon, 3 to 6.
Thursday... French or German. As in the matriculation examination, one Greek and one Latin book are specified as the subjects for examination in classics at least a year previously. The classical subjects for the last year were the Antigone of Sophocles, and the Agricola, Germania, and First Book of the Annals of Tacitus, and the subjects for the present year are the First Book of Thucydides, and the Odes, Epistles, and Ars Poetica of Horace. In the other subjects mentioned above the candidates are required to possess the following amount of information :
MATHEMATICS AND NATURAL PHILOSOPHY,
The ordinary rules of arithmetic.
The nature and use of logarithms.
The first book of Euclid.
The following propositions :
sin (A + B) = sin A cos B + cos A sin B
tan A + tan B
The Composition aud resolution of forces.
The motion of falling bodies in free space and down inclined planes.
The pressure of fluids is equally diffused and varies as the depth.
by a force equal to its weight pressing upwards at the centre of gravity of
the displaced fluid.
The apparent motion of the heavens round the earth.
Proofs of the Copernican system.
STRUCTURAL BOTANY. CHEMISTRY. The atmosphere. Its general nature and condition ; its component parts.
Oxygen; its general properties ; how procured. Nitrogen ; its properties; how procured. Water and carbonic acid in the air. Proportions of these
substances ; deteriorating influences; renovating processes. Aquafortis. Its nature; how procured; its composition; proofs of its acidity
and powerful action. Other negatively electric bodies than oxygen. Chlorine, iodine, bromine. Water. Its general relation to the atmosphere and earth; its natural states and
relative purity. Sea-water, river-water, spring-water, rain-water. Pure
water ; effects of heat and cold on it; its compound nature ; its elements. Hydrogen. How procured; its nature; proportion in water ; its presence in
most ordinary fuels ; its product when burnt.