Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/17

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University of Bombay.

we cannot but be surprised at the rapid growth of the educational system in this presidency.

I find that the first charter of this University was granted on the 18th July 1857. First Charter of the University. It was a time of darkness and discouragement, when all of us were thinking much more of immediate measures of material defence than of the more peaceful subjects connected with education. It has always seemed to me one of the almost sublime characteristics of that period, that when we were all absorbed in measures relating mainly to the immediate defence and security of the country, men were found who made time to calmly and deliberately carry out the measures connected with the grant of a charter to an infant University.

I find that in 1859 the first Matriculation examination was held, when 132 candidates presented themselves. The First Matriculation Examination. Of these Only 22 passed. The cause of so small a proportion Succeeding will be fresh in the recollection of all who took an interest in the University at that period. It was found that a great number of the candidates who would have been well qualified for admission if judged simply by the progress they had made in those branches of learning which were to be the subjects of their University studies, were yet deficient in a complete and scholar-like knowledge of their own mother tongue. I for one, while regretting the disappointment entailed on many an anxious and zealous student, cannot regret the decision at which the examiners of that period arrived, that a knowledge of the student's own vernacular language should be required as indispensable in any one who applies for admission to this University. It is, I am convinced, one great security for the future prosperity as well as utility of the University.

Of the 22 students matriculated in 1859, 15 presented F.A. and B.A. Examinations. themselves in 1861 as candidates for the First Examination in Arts: of whom 7 passed; and six of these 7 presented themselves at the final examination for the Bachelor of Arts degree in the present year. Of these 4 passed, two in the First Division and two in the Second.

It is a circumstance worthy of note, and highly creditable Degree of Master of Arts. to the successful candidates, that they have all intimated their intention of going up to the examination for the Master of Arts degree.

In all the old European Universities I believe the Degree of Master of Arts is conferred without examination on Bachelors of a certain standing; but it is not so in this University. Here the degree of Master of Arts is only granted after an examination