Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/238

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              1889.— Lord Reay.                           223 

inquiry are destructive of study as a continuous process of exami- nation. Universities are intended for higher studies, for new departures in every branch of learning, for those who wish to live the higher life in perfect independence of the errors which beguile the outside world. The nation, which cements that higher life,which tries to ascend to the higher level, is the nation which must occupy a foremost place. The nation which neglects such aspirations, which disregards such influences, which thereby degrades University life must inevitably fall back in the intellectual race. The leaders of Universities should constantly be on the watch against every attempt made to decoy them into byways, astray from the ascent to higher latitudes.

    The protest to which I have alluded is an opportune protest 
against such an attempt. Examinations instituted by those who teach in order to see whether their teaching is assimilated and is rightly understood and is bearing fruit, are necessary and useful, especially if they lead to the immediate exclusion of those undergraduates who are unfit to grasp the meaning" of the lessons they receive, a process which should be adhered to sternly. But examinations which have no connection with the higher teaching and are principally instituted to assist employers of labour in the selection of their servants, whether the employer is the State or a Company, have no relation whatever to the main object for which Universities are instituted. The object of the men who enter for such examinations is very creditable, but it is not the pursuit of knowledge chiefly.Many of those men will adorn literature, science, criticism, but this will be an incident of their career, not its main purpose. If it were otherwise, there is a real danger that they would not devote themselves as they ought to the service of their employers,and I hardly know a more exacting employer than the Government in India. Universities cannot but welcome the advent of those who are preparing for such tests, but Universities must make it quite plain that they are not and cannot consider it part of their duty to ensure success at examinations which aim at sifting men fit for practical duties from men who are unfit for them. It is 

an altogether different question whether the State and other employers of labour should avail themselves of the results of University training by accepting University standards, by employ- ing those whose University career points to future usefulness in the practical domain. I have seen excellent results from this system. I only know of one objection to it, that professors — perhaps more than other men — indulge in the very pardonable luxury of having favourites, but then the difficulty is not