The University of Glasgow 1910-1930 With Emphasis Upon its Participation in the First World War

Forrester, Leslie Lawrence (1998) The University of Glasgow 1910-1930 With Emphasis Upon its Participation in the First World War. MLitt(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The main theme of this thesis is to investigate the participation of the University of Glasgow in the First World War, 1914-1918. A considerable amount of time is also spent examining the period following the war up to 1930. At the outbreak of war the University had been in existence over 460 years and during this time it had of necessity interacted with the local community. As the community changed by providing services, goods and raw materials on an increasing scale to a widening market, so the University adapted to the community's needs. The courses provided by Glasgow indicated the educational requirements of the district in particular and other parts of the world generally. This interaction between the locality and the University is explored to enable the University's role within the socio-economic environment of the period 1910 to 1930 to be placed in context. Occasionally a step back into the nineteenth century is taken in order to provide the rationale for twentieth century conditions. By 1914 the University had acquired an enviable reputation and the facilities for producing academics, lawyers, doctors, engineers and scientists. It is noted that such success required an equally successful structure of internal government and this is examined pre and post-World War 1. Funding is also scrutinised as is staff numbers and the faculties in which they worked. In 1913 affiliation had taken place between the University and The Royal Technical College and the events leading up to this are considered. When war broke out in 1914 the laboratories, workshops and personnel were utilised to help bring about the defeat of Germany and its allies. Members and ex-members of the University student and staff population volunteered in large numbers for all branches of the armed services. Staff and students were also recruited to various Government bodies, hospitals and munitions factories to aid the war effort. During the War, The Royal Technical College, embarked upon a scheme to train workers, especially women and men who were unfit or too old for service, to produce the munitions required for war. In addition to helping set women upon the road to emancipation by introducing them to the normally male-dominated workplace, the foundation was laid for unrest amongst the skilled male workers by providing a pool of semi-skilled, diluted workers. These dilutees were perceived by the unions as a threat to the livelihood of the skilled workforce. Following the Armistice in 1918 the University had to learn to live with peace. Staff, materials and financial shortages, coupled with a large influx of students, led to difficulties the University had to overcome. Initially there was prosperity for all but by 1921 the economy had broken and prosperity turned to recession. Recession hit large numbers of the workforce as inflation, higher prices, numerous strikes and lower wages became the order of the day. Rising prices and dissatisfaction with their status encouraged the Lecturers to press for a new salary structure and an increased voice in running the University's affairs. The University's post-war relations with the other Scottish universities are detailed as the struggle to establish a common entrance examination and a composite fee took place. The University's futile attempts to inaugurate a degree in commerce are also considered. When the student population is scrutinised it is seen that although numbers varied, the trend was ever upwards. The Carnegie Trust was a tremendous help in assisting students to attend university and it is seen that approximately half of all students had their fees paid by that body. One advantage of this was that a student whose father was in a lowly occupation such as labourer, had the opportunity of attending courses leading to a degree. In addition to gender, the geographic location of the student population is also examined and the proportion of students from outside Scotland is defined. The work closes in 1930, just as the world was to meet the catastrophe of the slump which followed hard upon the heels of the Wall Street Crash of 29 October 1929 in the United States of America.

Item Type: Thesis (MLitt(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Irene Maver
Keywords: Education history
Date of Award: 1998
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1998-76172
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 16:31
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 16:31
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/76172

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