HC Deb 04 March 1897 vol 46 cc1581-2
SIR JOHN MOWBRAY (Oxford University)

I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has considered a petition, numerously and influentially signed, presented to him in 1896, in favour of an annual grant by Parliament for the promotion and development of the system of higher education, commonly known as University Extension, and in particular asking that such grant should be administered by the four central authorities of the University Extension movement, namely, the Oxford Delegacy, the Cambridge Syndicate, the London Society, and the Victoria Committee, and also by the two Extension Colleges at Reading and Exeter; and, whether he is prepared to recommend to Parliament to make any such grant?


I have carefully considered the petition referred to, but have not felt able to recommend to Parliament a grant for the general work of University Extension. Such a grant would be a new departure, for the work is of an entirely different character from that which is done by individual colleges. The two Commissioners who recently visited the University colleges which receive Parliamentary grants, the President of Magdalen College, Oxford, and Professor Liveing, of Cambridge, by my directions also investigated the two Extension Colleges at Reading and Exeter. They reported that these Colleges, though doing good work in many respects, were as University Colleges in an experimental stage, and they did not consider that they had as yet arrived at a position in which a grant could properly be given.