Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/203

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
University of Bombay.

activity! But I hope that ere long something like a practical beginning will be made, and that then step by step we shall rise through those middle principles on which Bacon has dilated as being so important in connection with the progress from the lower to a higher, that by degrees we shall introduce technical schools to advance our humbler students to a perfect grasp of what they now but faintly appreciate, and also that the masters and managers of factories and agriculture on the larger scale will be furnished

with that higher technical education which is so essential, and which comes into close communication with the abstract physical sciences. Technical Education and the University. It is at this highest point that technical education comes into connection with the University and polytechnic institutions. Whether the one or the other should be the culminating point is a problem which has been resolved in different ways by the thinking and practical minds of Europe. One thing, however, is certain, that whether a polytechnic institution or University should be the ultimate home of science education, a preparatory system laying the groundwork of general literature and science can do nothing but good. The highest grade of instruction in general literature and general science, according to the conceptions which have prevailed, and which I think must be sound, has been allotted hitherto to the universities, and I think that whatever might be the result from other points of view, the University itself would largely gain by an addition to its forces in the department of science. There is no doubt that mere learning and philosophy faint and fade and wither in the absence of contact with positive science and the daily interests and needs with which it is connected. That has been illustrated by many instances, and not least by the Universities of Italy to which I have made reference. No University can afford to put itself out of touch with the general movement of thought in the world, and when the general movement is proceeding along the line of science, it is fatal to any institution, be it ever so capable and learned in other ways, to let itself fall out of communication with that movement. I say, then, that it is in the University that we should, for the benefit of the Universities and I think of the community, have those masters of pure science who will furnish to the professors of technology the means of carrying on their teaching with the greatest benefit. Qualifications of Professors of Science. These University professors of science should be men specially devoted to their subject; they should be men not engaged in many different occupations, but there should be in them, in order that they may attain perfection in their own pursuit, that specialization of labour, that devotion to single subjects