The universities of both England and Canada, have been affected to a very great extent by the present war, according to statements received from those respective countries. In most cases the universities have been able to run with greatly reduced registration; some have had to stop altogether and some have had enough extra men, too young to enlist, to extent their registration almost to the same extent as it was before the war.
J. A. Nicholson, registrar of McGill University, has written:
"Every Canadian university suffered to a greater or less degree by the loss of students, but that is only what was to be expected, and what the university authorities are glad to see. We have no desire to encourage men to come to the university when we feel that they should be doing their duty elsewhere, but we feel that the universities must be kept open for the sake of those who cannot go to the front for one reason or another, and also especially in the case of the Faculty of Medicine to keep up the necessary supply of medical men.
"The attendance at McGill has decreased very considerably especially in the upper classes where men are old enough to enlist, but, as it has happened this year, the attendance has increased which makes it look as if we had not lost so many students after all: As a matter of fact, the difference in the number between this year and that of 1914 is less than 500: this notwithstanding the fact that considerably over 600 of our undergraduates have enlisted since the commencement of the war.
"Of course, the usual college activities have been greatly curtailed, and some of them, such as intercollegiate football and hockey matches, discontinued altogether. The interest in all college societies has greatly decreased as a result of the one overshadowing event which claims our attention. So far as the quality of the work is concerned there may not be very much difference between these days and those prior to the war, but on the whole, I think it may be said that there is not so much evidence of good scholarship today as there was under happier conditions."
Oxford Has Small Number.
An undergraduate from Oxford states: "In Oxford University some colleges which had 300 men before the war, will often have, under the present conditions, only a handful of students, perhaps twenty or so. Ten thousand Oxford men, including graduates and undergraduates have enlisted. The large part of all the students of military age in Europe are now fighting."