Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/270

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1891. — The Honorable Mr. Justice Birdwood, 255 fellowship to one who, in the days when a degree was denied her by her own University on the ground that she was a woman,bravely fought the woman's cause, which is the man's cause also, in the face of much opposition and obloquy. By her whole subsequent career she has vindicated the right of women to minister to women in sickness and proved that the possession and exercise of the gifts of healing are not the prerogative of one sex only.

    I will now refer to the changes in progress in the courses 

of study pursued by our students in Arts and Law. Both these courses have, as you are aware, been the subject of very anxious enquiry by Committees in their report a little more than two years ago, Their report was considered in t]|e Faculty of Arts and by the Syndicate, and, with certain modifications, was adopted by the Senate in April 1890. The principal feature of the scheme is the extension of the B.A. Course of study from three years to four years, the object being to afford opportunities for a somewhat wider culture than is enforced at present, which will give,in the words of the Committee, more time for digesting and assimilating the positive knowledge acquired at college, and keep our undergraduates twelve months longer under the influence of academical associations and surroundings. Though the University does not itself enter upon the practical work of education — though it has no professors or teachers, yet, by prescribing the subjects for examination for degrees, it necessarily controls all liberal education in the Presidency. By thoroughly recasting the scheme for the B.A. Examination, it has instituted a radical change in the course of studies pursued in the Arts Colleges by candidates for that degree. Hereafter, the B.A. degree will be one certifying to its possessor's general culture and not his special progress in special subjects. It will be strictly an intermediate degree. It will be the common basis for the special development of culture which are tested by the M.A. Examination. I will not enter into the details of the new scheme ; but only remind you that one of its principal features is the removal of History and Political Economy from the list of optional to that of compulsory subjects, and a slight reduction in the amount of compulsory mathematics, and that the Committee which proposed these changes saw ground to hope that the adoption of the new scheme would have the result of teaching our students to think with clearness and accuracy, to appreciate evidence, to apply general principles to practical affairs ; a hope of which we must all cordially desire the realization. Well,