College of Medicine building
They may appear solid today, but our schools had challenging beginnings.
According to Alexander Carr-Saunders, the architect of colonial universities, there was “little sympathy with local aspirations for university education” before the Second World War. While the Advisory Committee on Education in the Colonies (ACEC) once envisioned a system in which every colony would have elementary and secondary schools, as well as technical and vocational institutions up to the tertiary level by 1925, the idea of a university was not yet a priority in British policy.
The empire, after all, only had four universities at the time, in the regions of Malta, Jerusalem, Ceylon and Hong Kong. While requests were aired for a Malayan university, it was not until after the war that they were granted attention.
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