Handbooks of higher education setting forth types of information regarding institutions throughout the world have been available for a considerable time. Admirable examples are the well-known German Minerva: Jahrbuch der Gelehrten Welt and the French Index Generalis, both of which appeared in successive editions prior to World War II; and the English The World of Learning, published annually since 1947. Each of these reference works has many merits. Each of them has been limited largely, however, to the presentation of rosters of professors, and of officers of institutions and learned societies, with relatively little showing of statistical and other detailed descriptive matter pertinent to the universities and other institutions of higher education covered.
There is thus a place, without duplicating the work of others, for a handbook which offers no extensive rosters of professors, but instead presents succinct descriptions of the organization and operation of the institutions, including statistics of the teaching staffs, the student enrollments, the fee systems, and the annual incomes and expenditures with indications of the sources of financial support, insofar as these data are obtainable upon request for voluntary reports. The present volume essays to fill that place to such an extent as is possible under current world conditions. It is the first of its kind, and subject to the limitations attending the preparation of a first edition covering so comprehensive a scope.
The cooperation of the officers of hundreds of institutions in response to requests for detailed information, and the supplementary assistance of various kinds given by many national ministries of education and other central national agencies, governmental and nongovernmental, in many lands, have been generous and painstaking in a remarkable degree. Such merits as the present edition may have are ascribed to that cooperation.
THE INSTITUTIONAL EXHIBITS
The major portion of this volume is occupied by separate exhibits of facts and figures appertaining to more than 2,000 institutions of higher education in more than 70 countries and localities outside the U.S.A. In the collection of the data, which was accomplished largely between March 1948 and March 1949, chief reliance was placed on returns by appropriate officers of each institution on an inquiry form which was mailed directly to the institution. In a few exceptional cases, including certain large countries which have some hundreds of colleges or higher educational institutes, it did not prove practicable to procure direct returns from every such institution. Consequently varying proportions of the data were necessarily drawn from published sources of relatively recent date, usually official publications of the country . . .