Notwithstanding occasional media focus on misbehaving students or senior members, the residential colleges and halls dotted around or about most Australian university campuses keep a low profile. Their influence has undoubtedly declined since the early twentieth century, when as many as one quarter of Melbourne’s enrolled undergraduate population, and a much higher proportion of full-time students, were attached to Trinity and Janet Clarke Hall, Ormond or Queen’s. But the collegiate ideal to which all these institutions aspire, more or less, still provides a vital alternative to the regrettably prevailing view of higher education as mere vocational training – especially now, when the future viability of universities themselves is called increasingly into question.
Queen's College the University of Melbourne: A Pictorial History 1887–2012
edited by Jennifer Bars, Sophia T. Pavlovski-Ross, and David T. Runia
Queen’s College, $70 hb, 320 pp, 9780987065902
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Wilfrid Prest, born and educated in Melbourne, is Professor Emeritus in History and Law at the University of Adelaide and was president of the History Council of South Australia. He is the author of William Blackstone: Law and Letters in the Eighteenth Century (2008). His edited book Pasts Present: History at Australia’s Third University was published in 2014 by Wakefield Press.
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