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Academic Student Life

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Abstract

The admission of women to male universities in the nineteenth century brought with it many new debates and concerns. While the supporters of women’s higher education, in both the United States and the United Kingdom, considered all the reasons a coeducational form of instruction was ideal, they had not fully considered the applicability of such a scheme. As will be shown in this chapter, there were numerous difficulties and disagreements in mixing the male and female students in the classroom. The administrative decisions made on behalf of the student curriculum, in terms of the form that instruction took, were wide ranging. The responses of the male students to the presence of their new female classmates, and the reactions of women to their welcome also varied. At West Virginia University some of the men supported coeducation, while others were rude or impolite to their new female classmates.1 At the University of Durham the idea of having women attending lectures was seen by some of the men as a very good thing, though not for academic reasons. Writing in The Durham University Journal in 1882, an unnamed student remarked that” the presence of the fair sex would also have the great advantages of making the lectures much more attractive to the ordinary undergraduate.”2 Depending on one’s perspective and one’s confidence in his own abilities, then, it was possible to see the inclusion of women in male universities in a positive or negative light. The fact that coeducation was but one of a number of changes to the traditional university education during the nineteenth century sometimes clouds the response to it, while at other times the reaction was all too clear.3

Keywords

Female Student Male Student Woman Faculty Woman Student Mixed Classis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 5.
    Levis Campbell, On the Nationalisation of the Old English Universities (London: Chapman and Hall, 1901), 232.Google Scholar
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  3. University of London, The Calendar for the Year 1871 (London: Taylor and Francis, 1871), 465.Google Scholar
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    Susan M. Parkes and Judith Harford, “Women and Higher Education in Ireland,” in Female Education in Ireland 1700–1900: Minerva or Madonna, ed. Deirdre Kaftery and Susan M. Parkes (Dublin and Portland, OK: Irish Academic Press, 2007), 106–107Google Scholar
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    David” Woodside, The Life of Henry Calderwood, LL.D., F.P.S.E. (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1900), 233.Google Scholar
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    J. G. Fitch, “Women and the Universities,” The Contemporary Preview 58 (London: Isbister and Company, 1890), 253.Google Scholar
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    Alice Zimmern, The Renaissance of Girls’ Education in England: A Record of Fifty Years’ Progress (London: A. D. Innes & Company, 1898), 135.Google Scholar
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    Judith Harford, The Opening of University Education to Women in Ireland (Dublin and Portland, OR: Irish Academic Press, 2008), 80.Google Scholar
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    Michael Bezilla, IJenn State: An Illustrated History (University Park and London: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1985), 23.Google Scholar

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© Christine D. Myers 2010

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