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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 15, No. 13. July 17, 1952

America Right, But Not Wrong

America Right, But Not Wrong

We are inclined to think that the advent of the new Vice-Chancellor (Dr. G. H. Currie) is one of the most important events in the recent history of the University of New Zealand. Many people will agree with us in this—they probably think that here at last is the person with ideas and drive to reorganise the University as it so badly needs. But doubtless in the process of puttings into operation his ideas Dr. Currie will cause many of his well-wishers to consider him an altogether not unmixed blessing.

Not everyone would agree with Dr. Currie that U.S.A. provides the leading example in the "university age." The features which could be embodied in N.Z.'s ideal university are the lavish provision made for research and advanced work, and improved accommodation resources. What N.Z. does not want is twice the number of students at university.

It is evident that almost half of the people in our colleges would receive better training for the professions in advanced technological institutes and commercial schools. The idea of having these places (with professional and academic status of universities) we could copy from the Americans, who are the leading exponents of this type of higher education.

University education as we understand it—with its corporate life and broad cultural background—is neither necessary nor desirable for a large percentage of the people who would attend university if our university attendance numbers were similar to those of U.S.A. Already there are people in the university colleges who have no ambition and no ability to derive the fullest hem-fit from university life.

If our university population is doubled it will mean the end of the tutorial system; it will mean the end of much of the pleasant intimacy that exists between the staff and students. We believe that a modified tutorial system on the lines of that in British universities is the best means of saving the disintegration of the spirit (and perhaps the matter) of our university colleges.