The Universities, 1945–59

  • W. A. C. Stewart


In addition to McNair, Percy and Barlow, during the 1940s a series of major reports in higher education appeared — on agricultural and veterinary education, on medical and dental education, on social and economic research, Oriental, Slavonic, East European and African Studies. The UGC produced a report on its own work covering the years 1935–47. Writers paid attention to universities and what they were or should be doing in many books not only related to organisational matters of money, numbers and planning, but also to social, political and moral aspects of educational theory and practice.1 The books of Bernal (1939) and Simon (1943) carry the Marxist emphasis; the traditional, gradualist view appears in Truscot (1943), Barker (1946), Roberts and Ogilvie (1947 and 1948); the radical Christian in Nash (1945) and the generalist in the Nuffield College publication (1948) where the specific function of the university was questioned. The sociological case appeared in Mannheim (1940 and 1943) and in a vaguer and less systematic fashion in Clarke’s work (1940 and 1948).


Adult Education Royal Charter Gradualist View Local Authority Officer Scientific Manpower 
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  1. 1.
    J. D. Bernal: The Social Function of Science, London, 1939;Google Scholar
  2. B. Simon: A Student’s View of the Universities, London, 1943;Google Scholar
  3. B. Truscot: Redbrick University, London, 1943;Google Scholar
  4. Sir Ernest Barker: British Universities, London, 1946;Google Scholar
  5. S. C. Roberts: British Universities, Cambridge, 1947;Google Scholar
  6. Sir Frederick Ogilvie: British Universities, London, 1948;Google Scholar
  7. A. S. Nash: The University in the Modern World, London, 1945;Google Scholar
  8. Nuffield College: The Problems Facing British Universities, Oxford, 1948;Google Scholar
  9. K. Mannheim: Man and Society, London, 1940;Google Scholar
  10. K. Mannheim: Diagnosis of Our Time, London, 1943;Google Scholar
  11. F. Clarke: Education for Social Change, London, 1940;Google Scholar
  12. F. Clarke: Freedom in the Educative Society, London, 1948;Google Scholar
  13. Sir Walter Moberly: The Crisis in the University, London, 1949.Google Scholar
  14. 3.
    For details in what can only be sketched here see: P. J. Gummett and G. L. Price: ‘An Approach to the Central Planning of British Science’, Minerva, Vol. XV, No. 2, Summer 1977, pp. 119–143. I have also been helped by a manuscript due for early publication from Dr Kevin McCormick of the University of Sussex on the development of British higher technological education 1939–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 12.
    Sir James Mountford’s book Keele: An Historical Critique, London, 1972, is the authoritative work on this foundation and in what I write I call upon it and upon the Keele archives passim. The title of the new establishment in 1950 was the University College of North Staffordshire. The estate on which it was built and the neighbouring village were called Keele, and this was later adopted as the new university title and I shall use it.Google Scholar
  16. 13.
    See H. Hetherington: The University College at Exeter, Exeter, 1923. Hetherington succeeded Lindsay in the Glasgow chair of moral philosophy in 1924 when Lindsay went to Balliol as Master.Google Scholar
  17. 19.
    For instance, see Harold Perkin: Key Profession: The History of the Association of University Teachers, London, 1969, p. 151: ‘It cannot be said that the AUT played any part in the founding (of Keele) … nor in the development of its revolutionary educational ideals, and the (AUT) 1949 Report on University Expansion did not so much as mention it, although it was then being built. Only when the formation of a new Local Association was announced at the December Council in 1950 … did the AUT officially notice this new and significant development.’Google Scholar
  18. 22.
    W. G. Stone: ‘Steps Leading to the Foundation of the University’, The Idea of a New University (ed. Daiches), London, 1964, p. 187.Google Scholar
  19. 27.
    See W. G. C. Balchin: Universities in Great Britain: A Geographical Conspectus, University College, Swansea, 1957.Google Scholar
  20. 28.
    W. B. Gallie: A New University: A. D. Lindsay and the Keele Experiment, London, 1960, p. 69. Gallie links Lindsay’s emphasis on teaching to specifically Oxford qualities, but Lindsay also held the chair of moral philosophy at Glasgow where the commitment to teaching, albeit in a different style, was no less compelling. See also A. D. Lindsay: A Biography, by Drusilla Scott, London, 1971. Lady Scott is Lord Lindsay’s daughter.Google Scholar
  21. 36.
    Berdahl, op. cit., p. 68. For what he called an unofficial commentary on the origins and growth of the CVCP, see E. Ashby: Community of Universities, Cambridge, 1963, Chapter III, pp. 61–80.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© W. A. C. Stewart 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. A. C. Stewart
    • 1
  1. 1.University of KeeleUK

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