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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/541

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COEDUCATION IN SWISS' UNIVERSITIES.

that it was desirable to obtain closer connection between the higher schools, at once established two important institutions. The old gymnasium the—Carolinum, as that theologico-classical school had been named after Charlemagne—was enlarged and developed in two directions, scientific and literary on the one hand, and industrial on the other. A still higher school was organized with theological, law, medical, and philosophical departments, which was at first modestly called a Facultäts-Anstalt—an institution for higher study. This latter school became in 1833 the University of Zurich, founded by the state "that all her citizens might develop themselves freely, according to nature, in science and art. . . . Its purpose is partly to increase the sum of knowledge, partly to further the interests of Church and state through higher scientific culture of professions." So the university was organized, the canton school by its side as a helper, both under care of the state through the Educational Council, whose president is one of the governor's staff. In similar manner the Polytechnicum—the national school—is under the care of the General Government. The professors in the university are appointed by the Educational Council, and an educational synod, once a year or oftener, if especial need arises, gives opportunity for free discussion.

The Swiss universities are broad and liberal in the highest degree. Statutes are passed in their senates with simple reference to elevation of character and usefulness, and with no apparent thought of the sexes as separate. These statutes, when presented in council, are treated in the same spirit, and the question as to the advisability of coeducation came first in every university after women had already entered and studied. The original statutes excluded no one, and consequently when—after generally a remarkably long time—women applied for admission, their names were taken exactly as those of their brothers were taken; they took their places among these and worked there undisturbed until some other consideration brought the question forward. It is difficult to see why it should have been so long after the establishment of the universities before women asked to work in them. In Zurich it was thirty-one years, in Berne thirty-eight, while Basle was disturbed first last year by the question. Lausanne, however, which begins its career as a university this autumn, begins with women students. In Zurich and Berne it may have been the development of the universities from schools originally founded for the aid of callings as yet unthought of for women which caused the indifference on the part of women toward them. However that may be, when in the sixties women applied for admission in Zurich—the first one was a foreigner—no question was raised; she entered and took her degree. Ten years