Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/123

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University of Bomhay.

into the course of the degree of Bachelor of Arts. There are special reasons why the curriculum for that degree should be—I do not say more important—but a matter of great anxiety and debate than the courses in the professional faculties of Medicine, Law, and Civil Engineering, in which the question as to what ought to be demanded of the student finds an easy solution in the reference that can be made to the standard of professional knowledge of the day. The Faculty of Arts has a different and more difficult task to discharge in laying down such course or courses of study as shall best conduce to the special end it has in view, that of securing by more direct means the general cultivation of the mind. In the main principle which guided the deliberations of this Committee,—that of the desirableness of permitting in the later stages of a student's career and after having taken guarantees for a certain basis of general culture—considerable latitude in the courses of study open to him—I cordially concurred. We have not closed the door to those who may still wish to take their B.A. degree a range corresponding to the width of the old curriculum, though to do so effectively is a difficult task for the student in days like ours when knowledge has lengthened her stakes and stretched her borders on all sides. It is not, however, the business of the University to make that which is difficult impossible. But the majority of students, it is to be expected, will avail themselves of the permission accorded to them to specialise to a greater or less extent their studies after they have passed the First Examination in Arts. We have not as yet gone so far in this direction as other Universities. To three subjects we still attach an exceptional degree of importance, inasmuch as without a knowledge of English, one of the languages which we technically call classical, and Mathematics, it is impossible for any student to obtain the Degree of Bachelor of Arts. English it will always be necessary to retain on this list. But I think it deserves the anxious consideration of the Senate and Syndicate whether it may not eventually be advisable to extend the principle of specialisation further by permitting a candidate to go up in any one of the five branches of knowledge which at present constitute our optional subjects for the B.A. To a further though yet future development of this principle of specialisation I may perhaps be permitted to allude for a moment. Moved by His Excellency the Chancellor, whose interest in all that concerns our welfare deserves our grateful acknowledgment, the Syndicate are at present discussing a scheme for giving the Physical and Experimental Sciences in our Courses of Study a more distinct plaice. These sciences