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Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society

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Vol. 9, nos. 1-4 1980-1983

The Aberdare Report and Cardiganshire : an assesssment of educational conditions and attitudes in 1881 /

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CEREDIGION
CYLCHGRAWN
CYMDEITHAS HYNAFIAETHWYR CEREDIGION
JOURNAL OF
THE CEREDIGION ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY
CYFROL (VOLUME) IX 1982 Rhifyn (NUMBER) 3
THE ABERDARE REPORT AND CARDIGANSHIRE
AN ASSESSMENT OF EDUCATIONAL CONDITIONS AND ATTITUDES IN 1881
At the present time Cardiganshire is to Wales what Scotland is to England.
It is the county that has kept education to the front in Wales, and the spirit of
education prevails in Cardiganshire more than any other place. Therefore, I
think Cardiganshire has a claim, not as a question of justice or of right, but of
expediency, as being the county in Wales where education has been most
appreciated, and therefore, we may infer, where it would still be most appreci-
iated."
Professor T. McKenny Hughes, the Woodwardian Professor of
Geology at Cambridge and a native of Llandovery, another illustrious
educational centre in Victorian Wales, was not asked by Lord Aber-
dare to support his thesis quantitatively. Undeniably, there was much
truth in his argument. But similar sentiments were to be voiced about
other parts of Wales by numerous witnesses who gave evidence to the
Aberdare Committee. There was much to be proud of in the scholastic
institutions of the county at the time, but a study of all the evidence
submitted also reveals that in Cardiganshire as elsewhere in Wales,
there was much need both for educational reform and for more enlight-
ened educational attitudes.
Appointment of the Aberdare Committee and its importance
It was on 25 August 1880 that the Education Department appointed
a Committee to inquire into the present condition of Intermediate and
Higher Education in Wales, and to recommend the measures which they think
advisable for improving and supplementing the provision that is now or might
be made abvailable for such education in the Principality.'4
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