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TTNIVERSITY life holds much more than lec-

tures. It is a time of maturing, when ideas and ideals are shared and moulded in an atmosphere steeped in tradition, yet crisp with challenge.

Typical girl "freshers," abovedare Rosalind Doyle of Double Bay (left) and Joanna Fitzgerald of Rose 1 Mai. UPPER RIGHT: Among senior students who welcomed freshers during Orientation Week were (from i i left): .lillian Glass, Jean McLachlan, Rex Olsson, Marie Macaulay, and Harry Lewis. 1

YESTERDAY, life for more

than 300 girls in their late 'teens and early twenties took an important turn. As "fresher" stu


dents of the University of Sydney they attended their first lectures after a week spent getting their bearings-literally as well as fig k uratively-in the spreading

township of mellow stonework

and leafy walks that has be-

come their new scholastic home.

In the next few days or weeks each new-student

girl will mould a new

outlook for herself. If »he comes - as the majority do - straight from the segregated en- vironment of a girls' secondary school her con- stant contact with young men in classroom, lecture-hall and cloisters will be one of the most challenging influences in her new life.

Besides being a place of special- ised learning, the university is an institution of social development and a meeting ground of the sexes on equal terms. The fresher must adjust herself, mentally and socially, to this new atmosphere. The boys she knew at school are no longer playmates or 'teen-age party escorts. Suddenly they have become fellow students - colleagues, or even rivals, in the serious business of career training.

University life is intended to do much more than impart academic knowledge. It is planned to give a

broader, more balanced view

j^t point, to mould and mellow

OB intellect and to provide a cul

^V tural background for living.

r The fresher girl can find her

new studies and contacts in- fluencing all facets of her life and bringing her social outlook into truer focus, whether the university is her stepping stone to a pro- fessional" caieer or more simply the broadening and finishing of

her education as a citizen and


MOST popular faculties for women

students are arts (which includes social service studies), medicine, and science. The other faculties of econo- mics, architecture, dentistry, law, vet- erinary science and agricultural science all have some share of young women aspirants. Even engineering, for the first time last year, attracted a woman student. The first woman to graduate in agricultural science was in 1922.

The ;>tudy of dietetics is becoming more and more popular. a pro

Jean Northcott, fourth year science student (left) and Neida Gill, who is doing a post-graduate course, at work in the chemistry laboratory.

fcssion in which there are good pros- pects for women

Social studies, in the past few years have developed into one of most fav- oured subjects for women careerists. It is not, however, solely a woman's field Men too, are studying for social studies diplomas, the percentage being about one man to every 20 women.

Jn Australia, social services work is a relatively new and rapidly de- veloping profession. Jt provides a professional mode of expression for young men and women interested in social conditions and problems, and who wish to take a more intelligent

and active part in community affairs. Training embraces the social aspect of .such problems as economical security, housing, employment and working conditions, physical and mental health, and the community's recreations. A number are studying to be hospital almoners.

Salaries and working conditions for the graduate vary, but £235 is gen- erally accepted as the minimum sal- ary of the newly-graduated social worker. An Assistant Almoner, who must undergo an extra year's tuition.

commands a begin . ning salary of

£260 and £300. The Almoner's diploma course is open to matricula- ted students who are at least 20

years of age. Women over 25, who have' not matriculated, are accepted for training at the discretion of a selection committee.

An unusually interesting faculty for women is agricultural science, al- though compared with some subjects few have taken advantage of it. In last year's class there were three girls,

Opportunities open to these gradu- ates arc in the teaching services. Coun- cil for Scientific and Industrial Re-

search, food processing and controlling bacteriology in such products as glue and gelatin. Two outstanding examples are Lorna Byrne, who is Senior Officer in the extension work of the Depart- ment of Agriculture, and Helen Rig ley, Plant Introduction Work Officer.

The course for a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, extends over a period of four years, with an extra year for the honours degree. Botany, geology, zoology and plant pathology are amongst the numerous subjects it


On last gear's class rolls, dentistry and architecture had about equal num- bers of women students. In a four years' course of dentistry, the student encounters in her curriculum, such

formidable sounding terms as period ontia, orthodontia, and dental his- tology.

In past years, a number of women graduates in the Faculty of Architec- ture have shown particular ability. This is easily understood because woman has a natural imagination for the set-up of the home. It takes from four to five years to make a qualified


Veterinary Science is another com- paratively new university field for women, the proportion being almost


Gloria Christie


on a par with that

of women law stu- dents. Some girls who have quali- fied in veterinary science have bran- ched out in their own practices,

others taking posts with men "Vets" and in laboratories.

These are the faculties in which women are more and more invading men's domains, proving how deter- mined women are to maintain their foothold in professional "spheres, which two generations ago, were almost exclusively men's.

Medicine, of course, has been woman's strongest lever in breaking down these prejudices. A big pro- portion of the 888 women students enrolled at the University in 1939

were medical students.

In 1883, which was thirty years after the opening of the University, there were only 20 women students. Women we're eligible for university training from its inception, but it took many years before the presence of women ' students ' become the rule rather than the exception.

For many girl students living away from home "swotting" becomes a problem. Procuring suitable accommo- dation for students of both sexes has caused the authorities much concern. It is becoming increasingly difficult for a girl to find lodgings where facili- ties for study are adequate.

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Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
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