Higher Education and Opinion Making in Twentieth-Century England

By Harold Silver | Go to book overview

6

MOBERLY: 'THE STATUS QUO AND ITS DEFECTS'

MOBERLY'S REHEARSALS

Bruce Truscot's had been a sharp, unexpected wartime voice. Sir Walter Moberly's, only six years after Redbrick, was of a very different kind, speaking from a quarter of a century of public visibility, heading two institutions and the UGC. Truscot, in the war, was highly focused on the university. Moberly-critics suggested-confused the crisis of the university with the world crisis. What he undoubtedly did was bring the range of earlier experience and extensive discussion into the landscape of The Crisis in the University. He published the book in 1949, the year he left the UGC. Although it incorporated ideas that he had elaborated before, it went a great deal further and amounted to a full-scale account of the ideas that underpinned the history and present dilemmas of the universities. It was the first important twentieth-century philosophy of university education, embodying his advocacy of the university and of its transformation to respond to the values and needs resulting from the dangers and dilemmas of the times. Before contemplating the causes of present discontents he elaborated a three-phased history of the universities:

We had the Classical-Christian university, which was later displaced by the Liberal university. This in turn has been undermined but not as yet superseded, by the combined influence of democratisation and technical achievement. What we have, in fact to-day is the chaotic university. 1

'The chaotic university' is at least as expressive of Moberly's intentions as 'crisis'. In relation to the latter he had to determine with some difficulty the relationship between crisis inside the university and other kinds of crisis-including world crisis, the crisis of democracy, intellectual crisis and the

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Higher Education and Opinion Making in Twentieth-Century England
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Illustrations vi
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Abbreviations viii
  • Foreword xi
  • Part I - System Making 1
  • 1 - Preludes 3
  • 2 - Early Decades: 'Unequal and Inadequate' 13
  • 3 - 1940s: 'A New Crispness' 33
  • Part II - Values 55
  • 4 - 'truscot': 'the Universities' Speaking Conscience' 57
  • 5 - Postwar: 'A Ferment of Thought' 79
  • 6 - Moberly: 'the Status Quo and Its Defects' 100
  • 7 - 1950s: 'Modern Needs' 127
  • 8 - Ashby: 'the Age of Technology' 151
  • Part III - A National Purpose 175
  • 9 - 1960s: 'Expansionism' 177
  • 10 - Final Decades: 'Painful Transformation' 211
  • 11 - Pressures and Silences 252
  • Index 267
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