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A place of teaching and research: University College London and the origins of the research university in Britain 1890-1914

Pendleton, Mark; (2001) A place of teaching and research: University College London and the origins of the research university in Britain 1890-1914. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The principal aim of this thesis is to investigate the origins of the research university in Britain, focussing in particular on University College London in the period 1890-1914. This account demonstrates that this period witnessed a series of pioneering attempts to establish research schools in various departments of the College, and the emergence of an institutional commitment to both teaching and research. It is argued that - contrary to the assumptions implicit within much of the existing literature on this subject - government money and initiatives were of secondary importance, and the role of the state was merely to consolidate the effects of various developments that were taking place within the College. This thesis therefore highlights the significance of the role played by a handful of pioneering professors in certain key departments of the College - notably Karl Pearson (Applied Mathematics and Statistics), Sir William Ramsay (Chemistry) and A.F. Pollard (History). These remarkable individuals managed to pursue successful research careers and pioneered the development of research training for students. Moreover, through their efforts to secure the necessary financial support for their work (principally from private sources) and involvement in the campaign to reform the University of London, the College Council and University authorities were slowly forced to accept an expanded conception of the role and function of the College in this period, and in 1905 UCL was formally reconstituted as 'a place of teaching and research'. In the absence of a satisfactory secondary literature on Britain's universities and the rise of research, it is hoped that this thesis will act as a pilot study, suggesting a possible strategy for investigating the origins of the research university in this country based on local studies of individual universities, colleges and departments.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: A place of teaching and research: University College London and the origins of the research university in Britain 1890-1914
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Education; University College London
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10101355
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