Reform of Oxford and Cambridge

(149 words)
  • Editors

Historical Context Note

At the halfway point of the nineteenth century, the prestigious ancient universities of Oxford and Cambridge were in a state of disrepair. The colleges had come to dominate over any centralised university institution, only Anglican students were permitted, and they were felt to be lagging behind the innovatory models of research and teaching developing on the continent and in Scotland. As a result, Parliament set up Royal Commissions to investigate the condition of these two institutions, first of Oxford in 1850, and two years later of Cambridge. Their reports advocated drastic reforms, which would implement a much more centralised system, where professors would have increased authority in comparison to college tutors, and research …

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Editors. "Reform of Oxford and Cambridge". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]