1. World war was the watershed event for higher education in modern Western societies. (46)Those societies came out of the war with levels of enrollment that had been roughly constant at 3-5% of the relevant age groups during the decades before the war. But after the war, great social and political changes arising out of the successful war against Fascism created a growing demand in European and American economies for increasing numbers of graduates with more than a secondary school education. (47)And the demand that rose in those societies for entry to higher education extended to groups and social classes that had not thought of attending a university before the war. These demands resulted in a very rapid expansion of the systems of higher education, beginning in the 1960s and developing very rapidly (though unevenly) during the 1970s and 1980s. The growth of higher education manifests itself in at least three quite different ways, and these in turn have given rise to different sets of problems. There was first the rate of growth:(48)in many counties of Western Europe, the numbers of students in higher education doubled within five-year periods during the 1960s and doubled again in seven, eight or 10 years by the middle of the 1970s. Second growth obviously affected the absolute size both of systems and individual institutions. And third growth was reflected in changes in the proportion of the relevant age group enrolled in institutions of higher education. Each of these manifestations of growth carried its own peculiar problems in its wake/ For example, a high growth rate placed great strains on the existing structures of governance, of administration, and above all of socialization. When a faculty or department grows from, say, five to 20 members within three or four years,(49)and when the new staff predominantly young men and women fresh from postgraduate study, they largely define the norms of academic life in that faculty. And if the postgraduate student population also grows rapidly and there is loss of a close apprenticeship relationship between faculty members and students, the student culture becomes the chief socializing force for new postgraduate students, with consequences for the intellectual and academic life of the institution-this was seen in America as well as in France, Italy, West Germany, and Japan.(50)High growth rates increased the chances for academic innovation, they also weakened the forms and processes by which teachers and students are admitted into a community of scholars during periods of stability or slow growth. In the 1960s and 1970s, European universities saw marked changes in their governance arrangements, with empowerment of junior faculty and to some degree of students as well.
2. Between 1807 and 1814 the Iberian Peninsula (comprising Spain and Portugal) was the scene of a titanic and merciless struggle. It took place on many different planes: between Napoleon’s French army and the angry inhabitants; between the British, ever keen to exacerbate the emperor’s difficulties, and the marshals sent from Paris to try to keep them in check; between new forces of science and meritocracy and old ones of conservatism and birth. (46) It was also, and this is unknown even to many people well read about the period, a battle between those who made codes and those who broke them. I first discovered the Napoleonic cryptographic battle a few years ago when I was reading Sir Charles Oman’s epic History of the Peninsular War. In volume V he had attached an appendix, The Scovell Ciphers. (47) It listed many documents in code that had been captured from the French army of Spain, and whose secrets had been revealed by the work of one George Scovell, an officer in British headquarters. Oman rated Scovell’s significance highly, but at the same time, the general nature of his History meant that (48) he could not analyze carefully what this obscure officer may or may not have contributed to that great struggle between nations or indeed tell us anything much about the man himself. I was keen to read more, but was surprised to find that Oman’s appendix, published in 1914, was the only considered thing that had been written about this secret war. I became convinced that this story was every bit as exciting and significant as that of Enigma and the breaking of German codes in the Second World War. The question was, could it be told? Studying Scovell’s papers at the Public Record Office, London, I found that he had left an extensive journal and copious notes about his work in the Peninsula. What was more, many original French dispatches had been preserved in this collection, which I realized was priceless. (49)There may have been many spies and intelligence officers during the Napoleonic Wars, but it is usually extremely difficult to find the material they actually provided or worked on. As I researched Scovell's story I found far moreof interest besides his intelligencework. His status in Lord W ellington's headquarters and the recognition given to him for hiswork were all bound up with the class politics of the army at the time. His tale of self-improvement and hard work wouldmake a fascinating biographyin its ownright, butrepresents something more than that, (50) Just as the code breaking has its wider relevancein the stuggle for Spain, so his attempts to make his way up the promotion ladder speakvolumes about British society.