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From the Archive - 21.07.1961

Choosing a university

It did not matter whether they were speaking about Oxford and Cambridge, about civic universities or about the newest university of all, Sussex - each speaker emphasised again and again the diversity of university courses available and the importance of how the student's choice of university should be guided by his personal requirements and temperament. The care with which that choice was made today needed to be greater than ever before.

The speakers who gave advice were talking at Brighton Training College this week to a summer school for sixth-formers run by the Advisory Centre for Education (ACE). It was the first school of its kind, and the hope was expressed on Monday by Dr Michael Young, the chairman of ACE, that a chain of such schools would be organised next year throughout the country.

ACE received 450 applications for 160 places. Girls and boys were evenly divided, and came from both grammar and public schools. As far as possible, the four-day school was run along university lines. Attendance at lectures was voluntary and half the students lived in, with lock-up at 10.30pm. But more important than the taste of university life was the information they received about the many possibilities of higher education.

A warning against trying to acquire more knowledge than any one person could absorb was given by Sir Charles Morris, vice-chancellor of the University of Leeds. He outlined the relative advantages of large and small civic universities, and suggested that students who wished to keep abreast of intellectual opinion would do better to go to a large university. He regretted there were fewer women at larger universities, and hoped this situation would change.

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