DOCTORS FROM OXFORD
The opinion is strong on our side of the world that all interests in England have been subordinated to the great interest of winning the war. We are apt to picture intellectual life as stagnant there, while the great universities stand darkened at night against the ravages of piratical "Zeps" and their students are fighting in France.
Yet the announcement just made that Oxford will grant the degree of Doctor of Philosophy shows that the plans for broader education in the old world universities are still being strengthened. Formerly Oxford has granted the degree of B.Litt. for graduate work in the arts. The Ph.D. degree granted in American universities is a tribute to the German educational plan, although there is little similarity between the two systems of education.
The modification of Oxford's educational terminology is a distinct concession to American prejudice, which makes the title of Doctor the end and consummation of a man's learning. It is a little thing, the matter of a word. Yet Napoleon upturned the world because he wanted to be named Emperor rather than Consul. And many Americans of distinct scholarly ability have gone through other and less congenial training because the sound of a Philosophical Doctor was sweeter to their ears than a mere Literary Bachelor.
Anything, from the change of a degree title to greater concessions, which binds America to Europe more closely may strengthen us in that belief now so sadly shaken, that the commonwealth of knowledge knows no nation, and no geographical barriers.