Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/241

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227
FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION.

turers, who are also practical experts, and who, upon invitation from agricultural societies or county councils, go forth as lecturers upon their special subjects. Each adjacent county makes an annual grant of £75 to the college funds, and is privileged to nominate students to attend the college agricultural course at a reduction of twenty-five per cent on the usual fee. In 1898-'99 the Board of Education granted to fifteen colleges and associations in England and "Wales the sum of £7,200. The colleges were the Yorkshire College at Leeds, Durham College of Science at New-castle-on-Tyne, University Extension College at Reading, University College at Nottingham, Southeastern Agricultural College at Wye, and in Wales the University Colleges at Bangor and Aberystwith.

Besides the direct Government subsidy to higher education, the state grants to the several counties part of the money raised from the excise ("drink money") for educational purposes, out of which at least £78,000 were spent by the committees in 1896-'97 in promoting agricultural education.

Still further. Parliament puts into the hands of the Science and Art Department large sums of money to be expended as grants-in-aid of "technical education." The state recognizes instruction in the principles of agriculture as instruction in elementary science, and through this Science and Art Department's grants to primary and secondary schools, and to teachers' colleges, it encourages agricultural education as a technical study. In 1896-'97, 1,023 pupils passed examination, and the respective school managements received as grant on their account a total sum of £140,150.[1]

In 1897 the Royal Commission on Agricultural Depression in England made its report. Among other declarations made by the commission were these: "We believe that it is essential for the welfare of agriculture that there should be placed within the reach of every young farmer a sound, general school education, including such a grounding in the elements of sciences bearing upon agriculture—e.g., chemistry, geology, botany, and animal physiology—as will give him an intelligent interest in them and familiarize him in their language."[2]

They further recommend that hereafter the control of all funds for technical agricultural education be placed with the Board of Agriculture, and that the entire income of the Customs and Excise Act of 1890 should be devoted to educational purposes, agriculture receiving its adequate share. Should the first recommendation carry for all divisions of the United Kingdom, agriculture would


  1. Appendix to Report of Science and Art Department, 1896-'97.
  2. Page 152 of Report.