Memorial to Commissioners of Intermediate Education from Alexandra College and Council, 15 November 1878.
The memorialists having the superintendence of institutions containing between 400 and 500 female students, request the favourable attention of the Commissioners of Intermediate Education to the provisions of the Act in its application to girls and they respectfully suggest, that when preparing a scheme in detail under the Act, the Commissioners will include such arrangements for the examination of girls as may seem best.
The memorialists wish to express their willingness that such examination should be held, so far as the Commissioners approve, in the subjects and books prescribed for boys and according to the same standard. But they are strongly of the opinion that the examination of girls should be held apart from those of boys and they desire to submit this point to the consideration of the Commissioners.
Conference held in the Ladies' Collegiate School, Belfast, at the request of the Ladies' Institute.
The main object of the Conference was to elicit the opinion of the professors who were present as to whether the same standards of papers would be suitable for both boys and girls under the Intermediate Education (Ireland) Act. After a very full and exhaustive discussion, four of the professors, who have been examiners of the girls in the Local University Examinations being present, the following resolutions were passed:-
Moved by Professor Purser, seconded by Miss Tod:
(1) That the Intermediate Education Commissioners be requested to take measures that the girls be examined at the same time and on the same papers as the boys.
Moved by Professor Nesbitt, seconded by Mrs Byers:
(2) That due weight in the scale of marking should be given to those subjects usually studied by girls.
Women's Education Union Magazine, December 1878.
Letter to The Northern Whig, 1st October 1880 from J.C. Greer, Annadale arguing against Intermediate examinations for Girls
Intermediate examinations, as ... regards young women are an evil and an evil which we shall all come to see in time, and I hope before much more mischief has been done. Women, I believe should not be put forward into the world to compete with men. I do not say this on the selfish grounds that they are formidable opponents, not to be encouraged. I cannot believe that they would ever be able to hold their own in man's place, let alone beat them ... their nature is such that any publicity of life helps to spoil the womanliness which is their charm, and without which they are hybrids, half men, half women, with the faults of both. Some of the subjects put forward at these examinations are not fit for girls. I do not approve of Mathematics and Science for women. I cannot conceive of a girl being a 'Senior Wrangler' or of a 'Woman Huxley' being a tender wife and loving mother and having a well-ordered household ... Let us educate our girls at home, educate them well, but at home, where surrounded by pure and holy natural influences they may grow up gentle, womanly, healthy beings.