In "doing the English" it is to be hoped that all tendency to follow the examples of Oxford and Cambridge, by university systems, will be resisted at Harvard. Those are not the examples for a progressive American university to follow. The German university system, with its academic freedom - freedom on the part of the instructors to teach how and as they please; freedom on the part of the students to learn what best suits them - furnishes rather the model for Harvard to follow. Indeed, the tendencies of Harvard are in this direction, and we believe the time is not so very far distant when the students of Harvard will be treated as men and not as school-boys, and when the instructors will be relieved from the irksome police and schoolmaster duty now required of them, and left free to devote their entire attention to acquiring and imparting the best knowledge of their respective departments. When that time comes, the mischievous class system, with its silly notions of caste and artificial distinctions among the students, will be abolished, together with annual examinations; students will take a final examination as soon as they find themselves prepared for it, whether it be at the end of two, three, four or six years. Harvard should also be relieved from the entire burden and trouble of entrance examinations; a certificate of graduation from such preparatory schools as maintain the university standard, to be accepted as the qualification of the student for college - as the certificate from the gymnasium secures the student's entrance into the university in Germany. Those students, prepared by private tutors, would then have to pass the final examination of some high school or academy. Harvard, today, would be relieved of much trouble should it accept such certificates from Exeter, Andover, Quincy and other academies and high schools of a certain standard.
It would be for the benefit of Harvard to have rival universities of the same rank throughout the country. An admirable feature of German student life is that no student ever passes his entire university life at one institution. He passes one or two semesters at this university and at that, and, perhaps, in the course of his studies, attends half a dozen universities, thus studying under the most famous professors in the branches he is pursuing, gaining the direct influence of the best thought of Germany, besides attaining a wide experience in all parts of his fatherland. It will be a great thing for American scholarship when the youth of America are able to do the same - spending, say, in the course of their university career, successive terms in New England, the Middle States, the sunny South, the great Northwest and on the Pacific coast. The broadening influence of such a course upon the young American of the future would be inestimable. He would really know his country, and be an American in the highest and truest sense.