Gransnet forums


Thought a genealogist might know about women graduating...

(17 Posts)
Alie2Oxon Sat 27-May-23 16:24:53

Talking to my sister today, we weren't sure if our mum could have graduated, in the 1920s? She was born in 1907 and went on to do English and French at Manchester University. She did a year in Dijon. Could she not have graduated?
We are both a bit puzzled here.

Blossoming Sat 27-May-23 16:33:57

She may not have been awarded a degree if this in the 1920s. Cambridge didn’t award degrees to women until 1948.

growstuff Sat 27-May-23 16:43:15

I have a great aunt who graduated from University College, London in 1926.

Glorianny Sat 27-May-23 16:43:52

She probably did graduate. Universities began offering degrees to women in the 1880s. There was a huge increase in the number of women attending university 1914-1918 because young men were fighting in the war.
Universities have great archives and can often trace individual students so it might be worth contacting Manchester.
This is info about women attending there
Good luck hope you find out more.

growstuff Sat 27-May-23 16:57:28

I don't know about English and French, but Dr Catherine Chisholm graduated from Manchester Medical School in 1904.

Joseann Sat 27-May-23 17:14:26

If you look at a BA French at Manchester on their website, it reads:
With a strong heritage dating back to 1896, French Studies at Manchester is the oldest in the UK.

Nannarose Sat 27-May-23 17:39:37

I would definitely contact the University - they will have records.

Different universities granted graduation status to women at different times.
The other confounding factor is that for some time, only Oxford, Cambridge & London could award degrees (to anyone!) so some of the Universities used London exams.
I know this because the Honours Board at school (all girls) had only London for many years, then Oxford, then Cambridge and other Universities, and we were told about the complicated history of awarding degrees.
Some of our teachers who were at university in the 20s/30s were at other Universities, but London awarded their degrees.
I think (not certain that London & Manchester treated women equally from their inception, but would be interested to hear.

Joseann Sat 27-May-23 17:44:38

My university in London, founded 1849, was women only.

Alie2Oxon Sun 28-May-23 11:59:05

Thanks all, for these . I will pass on the links to my sister - who asked the question - and have a look myself!

Cs783 Sun 28-May-23 12:07:50

Coincidentally I’ve just been reading ‘Bluestockings’ by Jane Robinson (today on offer as a kindle download). Fascinating history of access to degrees for women.

Katek Sun 28-May-23 12:58:24

Dh's grandmother graduated from Heidelberg around 1918

PJ07 Fri 02-Jun-23 15:24:39

Another place to search is in newspaper archives. Local newspapers often printed the names of graduates.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 21-Feb-24 16:15:36

Well, my grandmother certainly graduated in 1910 or 11 from Edinburgh University - I used to have a photo of her in cap and gown holding her degree scroll. I am unsure of the year, but she married Grandpa in 1913.

M0nica Wed 21-Feb-24 16:34:18

I think all the red brick universities founded in the late 19th century accepted women and granted degrees from their founding.

It is only Oxford and Cambridge, founded back in the middle ages, mainly to train men for the church, who were resistant to granting degrees to women.

Durham University, founded as a clone of Oxbridge in 1832, initially granted degrees only to men, but by the end of the 19th century, they were granting degrees to women as well.

Gin Wed 21-Feb-24 16:53:22

Suffragette Rhona Robinson graduated from Manchester in I believe 1902. She achieved a degree in Chemistry.

prestbury Fri 01-Mar-24 13:14:58

I would suggest that the starting base for the University of Manchester womens archives would be this link

It has links to the womens records from the 1900's

M0nica Fri 01-Mar-24 15:56:34

All it takes is google
In 1880, a charter was issued for the new Victoria University, a federal university for the North of England; Owens College (now Manchester University) was its first constituent member later joined by college in Liverpool in 1884 and Leeds in 1887. The Victoria University granted degrees to women, and from 1883, Owens admitted women students.