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Newsclipping: Adult Education Endowment Wanted

Edinburgh University Settlement Work: Adult Education Endowment Wanted

To support the extended work of the Edinburgh, University Settlement Association, and j to provide an endowment fund, the Executive propose to raise the sum of £50,000. This intimation was made at the annual meeting I of the Association, which was held in Craigmillar College, Niddrie Mains Terrace, yesterday, when Professor Sir David Wilkie pre­sided over a large attendance. Among those present was Dr Jones, secretary of the Pilgrim Trust.

David Wilkie
David Wilkie

Sir David Wilkie said it was clear evidence of the vitality of the Settlement and its increasing sphere of usefulness that this year I they were meeting again in a new hall. Their last two annual meetings were held in Kirk o’ Field College. Before that they met in Cameron House, and the year before that in High School Yards, Benefiting by experi­ ence, .they had tried in that institution at Niddrie to incorporate the advantages of the other institutions; and they had added what was perhaps an entirely new branch—a health centre, as well as a social and educational centre.

 

A Health Centre

Those of them who had looked round the building would see a medical dispensary which was also to be a child welfare centre; and they hoped to instil in the inhabitants of Niddrie the elementary elements of pre­ventive medicine. They believed that in that self-contained community of about 9000 souls they had a wonderful opportunity of carrying out what was almost an experiment in pre­ ventive medicine. They hoped to approach this from various aspects. They knew how, in a community which contained a large num­ ber of unemployed, they found those minor diseases which were due to malnutrition.

There was much disability, and then general lowering of health, which, if not rectified, might form a starting-point of real illness and disease. So, whilst providing there an occu­pational centre, and also a variety of evening classes both for men and women, they would concentrate also on practical classes in cook­ing and dietetics for the women of the dis­trict. They hoped to spread the knowledge of those foods which contained the essential nutritive elements, and the correct prepara­ tion and cooking of such foods. They believed such knowledge was most vital where the financial resources of the family were lowest. They hoped the College might be the centre of physical training and athletics for the youth of the district, and also a home for the musical and dramatic elements in the community, in short, a social club for that small community.

ruskin_college
Ruskin College

Ruskin College Scholarship

Niddrie was a little further out than any of their other centres, and they hoped that generous help would be given to that College as to the others. They had received great encouragement in the Settlement, and parti­ cularly in their educational work. Perhaps the highlight was when one of the unem­ployed men in the Kirk o’ Field College won a scholarship to Ruskin College, Oxford.

That had been a great stimulus to many of the unemployed young men in Edinburgh, showing an avenue open to a man of ability who was prepared to concentrate on work. In closing, Sir David Wilkie paid a tribute to those who formed the life and soul of the Settlement, mentioning, in particular, the services of Miss Grace Drysdale, the warden, and Mr James Watt, LL.D., the chairman of the Executive Committee.

Mr F. W. Christie, C.A., submitted the treasurer’s report and observed that the Association had managed to pay their way last year.

 

Necessity for Endowment Fund

Dr Alexander Morgan, O.B.E., in moving the adoption of the annual report, said that when Edinburgh University started the Settlement it could not possibly have fore­ seen the immense developments that had taken place in connection with it. The University had good reason to be proud of its offspring. The Settlement was doing work unexcelled by any Settlement in these islands. Referring to four of its activities, he said that two were, the toddlers’ play­ ground and the nursery school.

They were giving the young a good start to becoming healthy and happy citizens. Then they had the two colleges—the Kirk o’ Field and Craigmillar. He looked upon these really as extra-mural colleges of the Univer­sity, where students got a training that they could not get in the ordinary classes of the University. He was impressed by the assur­ance with which the managers of the Settle­ment set upon the task of raising an endow­ment fund of £50,000.

They had appointed a special sub-committee, not to try to raise the money, but to raise it, and that was the right spirit. Such a fund was absolutely necessary; because the settlement could not possibly do its full work if it had a fluctuat­ ing balance-sheet, It must have a steady income; and he was sure the £50,000 would be forthcoming.

Miss Christine Turnbull seconded, and the report was adopted.

 

Newbattle Abbey College
Newbattle Abbey College

The Newbattle College

Professor R. K. Hannay, Edinburgh Univer­ sity, in an address, said that College and the Kirk o’ Field College gave a patent lesson for the future development of adult educa­ tion in Scotland. It had demonstrated already, and most amply, the value of a general social centre as an opportunity for educational development. After referring to the agencies at present at work in the East of Scotland, Professor Hannay said they were, looking forward with some hope to the in­ stitution of a Labour College at Newbattle.

If and when Newbattle was instituted, they would have an opportunity for those people who wanted really to prosecute some inten­ sive study to retire in, as it were, a monastic fashion for some time, and pursue that study.) He had no doubt an attractive place like Newbattle would also be a centre of week­ end schools, because while a great many people laughed at these short periods of study, it was always a source of thankfulness to him that anybody would employ their leisure for a short time in anything so profit­able.

A great many people interested in the gdult education movement were far away from any centre to which they might possibly go for the purpose of instruction. In England they had developed education by correspondence. While it was an unsatisfactory arrange­ ment, it was better than nothing. He could imagine that one of the questions that would arise, if Newbattle developed, was whether correspondence classes would be instituted.

In closing, he congratulated the chairman on the peculiar place that that and its mother institutions took in the cause of adult education. Professor Hannay was thanked for his address on the motion of Mr A. Law; and Mr J. J. M. Shaw, M.D., F.R.C.S.E., in proposing a vote of thanks to the chairman, extended to Sir David and Lady Wilkie the hearty con­ gratulations of all those associated with settlement work on the recent honour that had been conferred.

 

Adult Education Endowment Wanted
Image of the original

 

This is part of the voluntary collaboration with Ragged University to digitize the Edinburgh Settlements archive so that it can be accessed as a part of the public domain.

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