Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 18, No. 11. August 12, 1954
And Another . .
And Another . . .
The new Editor chose as his first editorial a subject which is of vital interest to all concerned with University education. It is a pity that the excellent choice of subject was not matched by the complete knowledge of it.
Where the Editor states ". . the Universities must, in principle, be open without distinction to all persons having on intellectual vocation and the capacities necessary for its fulfilment," I could not agree more. But unfortunately he then sets out to attack entrance to the University by accrediting. He makes the astonishing statement that "It is well agreed at this stage that the system of accrediting for University entrance should be abolished." If it is, by whom? Certainly not the Minister of Education, the University of New Zealand Senate, the Director of Education. Dr. C. E. Beechy. the Vice-chancellor of the University, Dr. Currie, the Victoria College Council, the Secondary Schools Association to mention but a few.
Again, I agree with the Editor that, "the Universities are already hopelessly overcrowded," but this is due rather to the increase in the birthrate of the country since the Universities were built, than to accrediting.
The Committee set up in 1950 to investigate the effects of accrediting under the Chairmanship of Professor I. A. Gordon, found that the percentage increase of students coming to the Universities was no greater than under the old regulations of entrance. Also, that the accredited students on the whole were as good, if not better, students than those who sat and passed matriculation. The committee recommended the continuation of accrediting.
There is certainly room for rethinking the whole question of entrance and the effects on the future University education. It will not be helped by rash generalisations, based on insufficient knowledge, and at times no knowledge at all.—I am., etc.,
(I did not state that overcrowding of the Universities we due to accrediting: accrediting is the better of two Imperfect Entrance systems but "has not fulfilled the purpose for which it was intended" for a number of reasons, one of which is the number of abuse to which it is open and the varying standards; the present system should either be improved upon or replaced by a more objective system; there is not one shred of evidence in either the Senate's report (a very protracted affair) of 1949 or the report of the Academic Board's sub-committee of last year to suggest that accredited students are better students than examination entrants, and if they are surely it Is because the former are in most cases the "pick of the bunch" and consequently the figures are inconclusive and inadmissible as evidence either pro or con: the figures given on page one of the latter report are also inconclusive for statistical analysis and and open to several differing interpretations; the latter committee recommended the continuation of accrediting in the absence of a better system; as for childish, ill-informed opinion and lack of knowledge of the facts, the report of the Auckland Education Hoard subcommittee on accrediting supports my statements with my one qualification that the process of abolition should be a gradual one: Professor Bailey agrees in principle with the recommendations of the latter report, as doubtless do the other authorities you list.