Newman’s collegiate plan for Dublin

Newman envisaged lodging houses which would hold up to twenty students each, presided over by a dean, each with its own private chapel and a chaplain, one or two lecturers, and resident tutors. ‘Thus there would be some sort of governing body in each house, or what would ultimately become such.’ If possible, each residence would also have two or three scholars, who would act as ‘a sort of medium between the governing body and the independent [i.e. ordinary] students’.

When a student was admitted to the University, he ‘is at once put under discipline, and he is required to join himself to some particular House or Community, of which he becomes a member’. Each house was under the rule of a dean, assisted by a number of tutors, each had its own chapel and common table, and each a working-day timetable that ran approximately as follows: Mass at 8 am, followed by breakfast; attendance at lectures from 9 am to l or 2 pm; dinner at 5 pm; and the students’ presence indoors by a fixed hour in the evening, which varied according to the time of year.

What about students who expected to live at home or with friends of the family?

Newman’s solution was that, ‘it should be in the power of the Dean or President, under sanction of the Rector, to permit young men to live at the houses of their parents or friends, if they wish it; but in the case of such externs, their home, or abode, whatever it is, must be considered as a licensed lodging house, or rather as an integral part of the academical domicile; so that the young men so situated are as simply [i.e. completely] under the jurisdiction of the Dean as if they resided under his roof.’ (Report for the Year 1854–55)

‘A large College of lay students will be found impenetrable and unmanageable by even the most vigilant authorities. Personal influence requires personal acquaintance, and the minute labour of a discretionary rule is too fatiguing to be exercised on a large number.’ (Report for the Year 1854–55)

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