Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/542

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

later, when so many, chiefly Russians, came with insufficient preparation, a new law was passed regulating the admission of "students" into the university, and formally recognizing women. It had formerly been sufficient for foreigners to present good passports from their Governments; but the new law required in addition testimonials of character and of sufficient previous mental training. If this were not produced, the student must take an examination. This examination, partly oral and partly written, must evidence sufficient knowledge of German to read and to follow a lecturer; sufficient knowledge of mathematics and the sciences to enable the student to understand the university lectures upon these subjects; knowledge either of Latin to read and understand an easy author, or to the same degree of French, with either Italian or English. The Council supported the wisdom of the university senate, and these remain the requirements of the university. Swiss students present diplomas or reports from the Zurich gymnasium or its equivalent; and here girls are somewhat at a disadvantage, for, when the framers of new educational privileges were establishing this canton school which should fit boys for the higher work of the university, they made no such provision for girls. During the early years, while education is compulsory and the state furnishes all books and industrial implements, boys and girls study together; but in the higher schools they are separated, and the courses of study in girls' schools are not so complete as in the gymnasiums for boys. As soon, however, as girls asked for admission to university work, good private schools sprang up, and the normal school was also resorted to. The normal school in Zurich now sends out almost every year, in addition to its well-equipped teachers, at least one or two girls fitted to take the Maturit├Ąts examination in either the medical or the philosophical department of the university. At present, moreover, a bill is before the school commission of the state, asking that the canton school be opened to girls, and has, it is thought, fair prospect of being at last adopted.

It was in Berne as in Zurich. Women had studied several years in the university before the question of their admission was ever discussed. The Constitution used only the general term "student," and naturally girls were accepted as soon as they presented themselves. No one could have given any authority or reason for rejecting them. There were five the first year, one of these an American, it is interesting to know, who wished to study medicine. The next year there were twenty-six. The attention of the faculty was arrested: a question arose as to the advisability of simply allowing them to study under the negative provision of the university laws, and a difference of judgment was manifested; but the discussion finally resulted in the passage of a new