Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/581

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University of Madras.

admired, I trust, by succeeding generations of enlightened men, tlie graduates of our Universities.

Now, gentlemen, what is this University which they founded? The first thing which strikes me in trying to answer this query for you is that its founders avoided the question as to whether an University has simply to do with preparing its students by a liberal and humanistic education to become right-thinking men able to take clear views in regard to the daily problems of life which they will have to solve, or also with the imparting of professional knowledge. Nor do they seem to have touched the question whether an University, which has not within it the potentialities of becoming a local habitation for a permanent congregation of learned men, can ever concentrate within it the educational side of a people's life. Their thoughts seem not to have wandered back to the ancient Universities of Paris or Bologna, or to Oxford or Cambridge, or even to Universities of the German type; but they took for their model, an University, that of London, which confined itself. Medicine excepted, to the modest work of prescribing courses of study, for its students, and of effectively testing such students. They departed from that model in only one important matter to which I am about to refer, viz., the restricting of the study of Matriculated students to affiliated colleges. Their ends were essentially practical. They sought to form not a centre of instruction for all, but a centre for testing the instruction of all, and by this system of public examinations, to give full development to the highest course of education to which the Natives of India, or of any other country, can aspire," and besides, by the division of University degrees and distinctions into different branches, to direct "the exertions of highly educated men to the studies which are necessary to success in the various active professions of life," and thus to diffuse useful knowledge, and to confer upon the Natives of India "vast moral and material blessings." Thus the practical ends in view in establishing the University are clear. But there are two matters in connection with it to which I would invite your attention. The first concerns the development of the organization of the University; the second, the supplementing by subsequent self-culture the courses of study which it encourages. I do this because I feel that you should think of these things and of how you can help to establish and settle your University system on lines which will better promote good and useful learning, and secure for its graduates as great an influence in the educational development of South India, as public