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A History of Foreign Students in Britain by H. Perraton

By H. Perraton

Overseas scholars have travelled to Britain for hundreds of years and, from the start, attracted controversy. This booklet explores altering British coverage and perform, and altering scholar adventure, set in the context of British social and political historical past.

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Anderson 1983 Education and opportunity in Victorian Scotland, Oxford, 296–8;1900: British numbers, UGC Report 1929/30–1934/5, 52, Indian numbers, Lahiri ‘Indians’, 5. It was easy to travel to Britain in the nineteenth century, whether to study or as a response to its expanding economy. Passports were rare before 1915 and there were no legal barriers to migration into Britain. The country’s standing as an imperial and industrial power drew travellers, immigrants and students. The costs of travel fell as railways crisscrossed Europe and steamships shortened journeys.

And, while there were few students born abroad, the influence of those whose origins lay abroad, like the Huguenots, sometimes counted for more: Huguenots set up schools, served as tutors, wrote works that helped to keep England in touch with the march of mind on the Continent. Huguenot names attained distinction in the universities and the Royal Society, or, like Romilly’s, in the law. 48 The numbers of registered students also underestimate the total because they omit those attending without registering and those who came for too short a time to register.

The metropole was a magnet for this group. Ernest Rutherford was one of them. He got double first degrees in mathematics and physics in New Zealand, published two papers on electromagnetism while still studying, and moved to Cambridge in 1895 to work with J. J. Thomson as the Cavendish Laboratory’s first research student. 24 They also blew into Cambridge where Australian numbers almost doubled from the 1860s to the 1870s (increasing from 82 to 161) though falling to 118 in the 1890s. 25 The paths of these colonial students were eased by constitutional changes within Oxford and Cambridge.

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