New England University College – Claim of North
DEPUTATION RECEIVES SYMPATHETIC REPLY
A deputation, representing practically the whole of Northern New South Wales, and organised by the New England University College Provisional Council, waited on the Minister for Education (Mr. D. H. Drummond) at Armidale on Saturday last and presented the case for the establishment of a University College at Armidale affiliated with the University of Sydney.
In reply the Minister said there were two possibilities of launching a University course — either through the Government or apart from the Government. He felt the force of the claim of the deputation, but he believed that it would be far better for the North if it could manage to achieve its object without relying wholly on the Government.
The legal aspect was bound up in finance. The Sydney University Act provided that the Senate of the University may set up a college within the University where the promoters provide £10,000. The Government was then pledged to provide a like amount, and £ for £ up to £20,000 and contribute £500 a year tor the upkeep of the principal. In the case of the North the buildings were already in Armidale. The Teachers College was perfect architecturally, and since the depression the full accommodation had not been utilised. The accommodation, therefore, would be sufficient for at least a decade.
“It should be no unsuperable task to ask the people of the rich northern parts of the State to provide £10,000,” declared Mr. Drummond. ” When I go before Cabinet with this proposal within the next six weeks I feel that my position would be greatly improved if I could tell my colleagues that I had £10,000 towards the cost. It would immeasurably strengthen my case. I really believe that the Teachers’ College and the University College work could be dove-tailed very well. The University College at Canberra costs about £3000 a year. I have closely examined the reports and financial statements, and I have no hesitation in saying that a College in the north could be run economically, without impairing its efficiency.” Continuing, the Minister said that this movement might induce the Sydney University to do something in the matter of correspondence courses. He believed, however, that it was far better for the student if he could be brought into close personal contact with the lecturers, and that was certainly more likely in a University College than in one big central institution.
In conclusion, Mr. Drummond said that he had already communicated with Professor Wallace, Vice-Chancellor of the Sydney University, asking him to bring the matter before the Senate, and advise him of the decisions arrived at. The gathering would be pleased to know that Mr. Ross Thomas, Director of Education, was a member of the Senate by virtue of his position in the Department, and he was present that day as an observer.
The personnel of the New England University College Provisional Council is as follows:— Right Rev. J. S. Moyes (Anglican Bishop of Armidale), Right Rev. Dr. John Coleman (R.C. Bishop of Armidale), Messrs. E. Simpson (Armidale), A. E. Sweaney (Inverell), P. A. Wright (Wallamumbi), W. S. Seaward (Scone), H. H. Hungerford (Murwillumbah), S. C. Wilson (Armidale), H. Regan (Tamworth), J. P. Abott (Wingen), C. McKenzie (Lismore), W. E. Waterford (Quirindi), Dr. Banks-Smith (Tamworth), Dr. D. J. Crossin (Armidale), Dr. R. B. Austin (Armidale), Principal C. B. Newling (Armidale), Mrs. A. G. Bryden (Armidale), Miss Mary White (Armidale), Dr. Earle Page, M.H.R. (Grafton), Col. H. F. White (Guyra), honorary secretaries, Messrs. R. L. Blake and J. Laurence.