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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 13, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta L": "'5-' ' ' ' *%d * ** *' Wednesday, January 13, 1971 - THE LETHBRIDOV HRAID - 49 Students get good deal at Oxford University PROTEST UNDER WAY - A new form of protest was used by a group of villagers at Wing, England. A portion of 3,000 balloons rise from the group during a protest of a proposal to locate a new airport at the village. Each balloon carried a post card, inviting the finder to sign a protest against the proposal and send the card to the agency in charge of the site location for the airport. By IAIN MncLEOD OXFORD, England (CP) -The vice-chancellor of Britain's oldest and most respected university says "it would take a hell of a lot of people to disrupt Oxford." Dr. Alan Louis Bullock, who supervises Oxford's 28 colleges and 11,000 students, claims that this ancient seat of learning has never been disrupted by student protest. ' "Students get such a good deal here that there is little interference with the way the university is run academically," he told a group of touring correspondents. Canadian students do particularly veil in the graduate courses. "Canada has fewer universities than most countries," said Prof. Michael Brock, principal of one graduate college. "We find that the academic standard of Canadian graduates is therefore higher and usually more specialized." Oxford is based on an educational system in which the student gets almost individual attention. "A man can get the highest honors Oxford University offers without going to a single lecture," said Bullock, a tall, white-haired, heavy-set man who has been a leading figure here for the last decade. FEW., FAILURES Only five per cent of Oxford students fail to get their degrees, he said. Tough stand' ards for entry probably account for the low percentage of failures. But the intensity of individual attention is undoubtedly another major factor. Oxford provides a system with a teacher ratio of one for every eight students. But this kind of ratio exists at most British universities. Along with personal attention, Ox ford also provides an unusual collegiate structure. The university does not exist as a single body. Each of the 28 colleges is a self-governing unit. It elects its own tutors and from numerous applications picks the students for post-graduate studies and degree courses. The college principal there- fore is responsible for the running of college affairs ond his students' academic success. Talking about demonstrations and student riots. Bullock, a Yorkshire man who reported the Second World War as a BBC correspondent, explained that because of the celt-like structure the university has no central point which could be attacked by agitators. ATTENDANCE LIMITED Founded eignt centuries ago, Oxford offers courses that are more varied than at other universities. Subjects range from literature to forestry. Each year the entry demand increases. In 1969 more than 1,500 applied for 300 modern-languages vacancies alone. Brian Campbell, the admissions officer, says that though headmasters only submit the best of their pupils for admission to Oxford more than two-thirds are turned away each year. To conserve the students' individual attention and avoid overcrowding, the current student body of 11,000 will not be allowed to rise above 12,000- even by 1974. Campbell noted that the number of women undergraduates-first admitted a century ago-is growing yearly. Now Oxford has five women's colleges as well as places for them in the graduate schools, making a total of almost 2,000 women students, one-fifth of the university's population. In contrast to the tranquility of this ancient institution, life at some of Britain's now universities, which concentrafp on the campus system, appears to be restless and unhappy. The London Daily Telegraph, a national newspaper, said life at Essex University, on Britain's south-east coast, "is collapsing in a wave of student vandalism and drug-taking." Because of the so-called "liberal attitude" adopted by university authorities, Essex has the highest proportion of drug-taking students among British campuses, the paper said. One half of the 2,000 students at Essex live in high-rise blocks of flats where, the newspaper added, claustrophobia, tension and boredom lead to a life of sitting around, playing records, drinking coffee or smoking pot. In one recent bout of trouble, Essex students smashed electric lights and shop windows, ripped wash-basins from walls and scribbled obscenities in elevators, The Telegraph said. University press of fleer Walter Evans said the paper's allegations are exaggerated and that students "art hep* ping mad" about them. 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