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THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY was incorporated by an Act of the Colonial Legislature, which received the Royal Assent on the 1st of October, 1850. The objects set forth in the preamble are— "The advancement of religion and morality and the promotion of useful knowledge." By this Act it is empowered to confer, after examination, Degrees in Arts, Law and Medicine, and is endowed with an annual income of £5000. Since 1882 this endowment has been supplemented by annual Parliamentary grants for the general purposes of the University, the amount voted for 1900-1901 being £4000, and also by grants for special purposes.
By the University Extension Act of 1884 the Senate is empowered to give instruction, and to grant such Degrees and Certificates in the nature of Degrees as it shall think fit, in all branches of knowledge, except Theology and Divinity. The same Act admits women to all University privileges equally with men.
The various Acts of Parliament relating to the University and Colleges have been superseded by the Consolidating Act 64 Victoria, No. 22.
By a Royal Charter issued 7th February, 1858, the same rank, style, and precedence are granted to Graduates of the University of Sydney as are enjoyed by Graduates of Universities within the United Kingdom. The University of Sydney is also declared in the Amended Charter granted to the University of London to be one of the institutions in connection with that University from which certificates of having pursued a due course of instruction may be received with a view to admission to Degrees.
The government of the University is vested in a Senate, consisting of sixteen elective Fellows, and not fewer than three nor more than six "ex-officio" members, being professors of the University, in such branches of learning as the Senate may from time to time select. Under this power, the Professors of Modern Literature, Chemistry, Physiology, and Law are constituted "ex-officio" members of the Senate. A Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor are elected by the Senate from their own body.
Vacancies in the Senate are filled by means of a convocation of electors, consisting of the Fellows of the Senate for the time being, Professors, Public Teachers and Examiners in the Schools of the University, Principals of Incorporated Colleges within the University, Superior Officers declared to be such by By-law, Masters and Doctors in any Faculty, and Bachelors of three years' standing.
There are four Faculties in the University, viz., Arts, Law, Medicine and Science.
In the Faculty of Arts two Degrees are given-namely, Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts. The curriculum of study for the Degree of B.A. extends over a period of three years, during which students are required to attend lectures and pass examinations. The subjects of study are English, Latin, Greek, French and German Languages, Ancient and Modern History, Mental Philosophy and Logic, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Geology and Palæontology, Biology, Physiology, &c.
In the Faculty of Law the Degrees of LL.B. and LL.D. are given. The curriculum of study for the Degree of LL.B. extends over five years. The Degree of Bachelor of Law is recognised by the Board for the admission of Barristers in New South Wales as a qualification for admission to the Bar.
In the Faculty of Medicine three Degrees are granted, viz., Bachelor of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine, and Master of Surgery. The course of study for the Degrees of M.B. and Ch.M. extends over a period of five years.
The colony of New South Wales has been declared to be one of the British possessions to which the Imperial Medical Act of 1886 applies, and the Degrees in Medicine and Surgery granted by the University of Sydney are registered upon the Colonial List of the British Medical Register, under section 13 of that Act.
The University of Sydney is recognised as one of the Institutions from which the University of London is authorised to receive certificates for Degrees in Medicine. The University of Edinburgh accepts certificates of attendance on Medical Classes in this University to the extent of three years of professional study, and the Royal College of Surgeons extends a similar recognition to attendance on the classes of the whole course, in the case of Graduates in Medicine who present themselves for examination for the Diploma of Member of the College.
In the Faculty of Science the Degrees of Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Science are given, and Degrees are also given in the several branches of Engineering, viz., Civil Engineering, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, and Mining and Metallurgy. The course for the Degree of B.Sc. extends over a period of three years, during which the subjects of study are Mathematics, Chemistry (theoretical and practical), Physics (theoretical and practical), Mineralogy, Geology and Palæontology, Biology, &c. Candidates for Degrees in Engineering receive instruction for a period of three years in Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Surveying, Geometrical Drawing, Applied Mechanics, Architecture, Mineralogy and Geology, Metallurgy and Assaying, and the different branches of Engineering.
A School of Dentistry has been established, and a license is given after a three years' curriculum.
The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge extend certain privileges to students who have completed two years' study in the University of Sydney and who desire to compete in the Examinations for Honours. Graduates of the University of Sydney who comply with certain requirements may be admitted as "advanced students" in the University of Cambridge. "Advanced students " may, under special conditions, proceed to the Degree of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Law in that University, or obtain a certificate testifying to their proficiency in research.
Courses of Lectures in connection with the scheme for University Extension are delivered in Sydney and other placse upon application. Each course consists of six or ten lectures, and concludes with an examination. Those persons who have attended any course regularly, and passed the concluding examination, receive University Certificates to that effect. The subjects of the lectures have hitherto been English Literature, Modern History, Ancient History, Political Economy, Logic and Mental Philosophy, &c.
Senior and Junior Public Examinations are held annually in Sydney, and at other places where persons approved by the Senate can be found to superintend the examinations.
The lectures of the Professors are open to persons not members of the University, upon payment of the fee prescribed for each course.
Undergraduates and Graduates of other Universities are admitted ad eundem statum and gradum under certain regulations prescribed by the By-laws.
The object of the Sydney University is to supply the means of a liberal education to "all orders and denominations, without any distinction whatever."
An Act to provide for the establishment of Colleges in connection with different religious denominations was passed by the Legislature during the Session of 1854. Ample assistance is offered towards their endowment; and the maintenance of the fundamental principles of the University-the association of students without respect of religious creeds, in the cultivation of secular knowledge is secured consistently with the most perfect independence of the College authorities within their own walls. Colleges in connection with the Church of England, the Roman Catholic and Presbyterian Churches, and a College for Women, have been established.
An account of the several Scholarships and other Prizes for proficiency which have been established out of the funds of the University, or have been founded by private benefactions, will be found in this Calendar.
The Senate has the privilege of nominating one candidate per annum to a Commission in the British Army, and to a Military Cadetship at Sandhurst.
Graduates in Arts of this University enjoy certain privileges (granted by Act of Parliament), exempting them from all examinations other than an Examination in Law before admission as Barristers of the Supreme Court. The Rules of the Supreme Court also provide for a shortening of the period of Studentshipat-Law, in the case of Graduates, from three years to two, one of which may be concurrent with the final year of studentship at the University. Graduates who enter into articles of clerkship with attorneys and solicitors are only required to serve for three years instead of five.
At the yearly Examinations of 1882, women were first admitted to Matriculation in pursuance of a resolution passed to that effect by the Senate on the 1st of June, 1881. The University Extension Act of 1884 provides that "the benefits and advantages of the University, and the provisions of the Acts relating thereto, shall be deemed to extend in all respects to women equally with men."