This book provides an account of the University of Manchester's struggle to meet the government's demands for the rapid expansion of higher education in the 1950s and the 1960s. It looks at the University's ambitious building programme: the controversial attempts to reform its constitution and improve its communications amid demands for greater democracy in the workplace, the struggle to retain its old pre-eminence in a competitive world where new ‘green field’ universities were rivalling older civic institutions. The book tells the story, not just from the point of view of administrators and academics, but also from those of students and support staff (such as secretaries, technicians and engineers). It not only uses official records, but also student newspapers, political pamphlets and reminiscences collected through interviews.
In a volume such as this it is the task of the editor to guide and manoeuvre her way through the scholarship of others, trying to make each section fit. It is to my continuing appreciation that the contributors to this volume have been open to suggestions and comments and have graciously managed to keep to deadlines (mostly). A special thanks needs to go to Ian McNiven for living with and through the book’s development. Several people acted as readers and referees, and in particular I would like to thank Clive Moore, Rhys Issac and Patrick Wolfe.
My colleagues at Monash in the School of Historical Studies have been, as always, supportive and interested in the project. I must single out Bain Attwood for his help and advice which was much appreciated. Bain’s intellectual presence can be seen throughout the text; however, it is his personal support that I acknowledge here.
A very special thanks goes to Roslyn Poignant for taking such fine care of me when my research trip to London fell foul of the northern winter. Ros, your intellectual conversations and advice sustained me at an important moment.
Thanks, finally, to John MacKenzie for enthusiastically embracing the project and agreeing to include it in the Studies in Imperialism series.