Introductory Programme To Dawn University

1963 , Cambridge (Cambridgeshire)

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Over Cambridge, including views of King’s College Chapel, students on Silver Street bridge near The Anchor, cars near St John’s College and the gates of King’s and Christ’s Colleges; the presenter introduces the idea of the Dawn University. This begins with a series of six lectures this week on Independent Television (introductory programme broadcast 16 October 1963, the lectures broadcast 21 - 26 October 1963). The experiment in educational television aims to bring the benefits of a university education to everyone. It was initiated by Cambridge Television Committee headed by Peter Laslett, Anglia Television and the Independent Television Authority with the programmes produced in Anglia TV Studios in Norwich. Outstanding dons will contribute on subjects ranging from English Literature to Engineering. Dawn University may be used as a model for a University of the Air. Producer George Noordhof, employed by Anglia TV to produce the series, is interviewed about the aims of the lecture series. Subjects will include a lecture on mathematics by Fred Hoyle, Raymond Williams on stories of the future, John Kendrew on chemistry, Mr Hensley [?] on history, Donald Broadbent on psychology, including audience participation in an experiment, and a lecture on engineering. Moving camera scenes along Sidney Street past Marks and Spencer and the bike racks outside the bank. Vox pops with Cambridge people asked whether they would get up at 7am to watch a University lecture on television. They give a range of opinions including an American man who would watch, saying it has been tried successfully in America. Academic Raymond Williams at Jesus College talks about the difference between giving a lecture and teaching on television. More audience opinions are voiced over shots of streets of houses and television aerials on rooftops. A horse pulls a milk float from Ebden’s Dairy, decorated with the slogan ‘drinka pinta milka day’. Academic Richard Hoggart of Birmingham University warns against hoping for a new utopia of educated democracy, recommending that lectures on television be supported by thinking and practice. Scenes of competitive rowing on the River Cam (from 793/61). The lectures will be accompanied by film; this is illustrated with shots of a researcher in a science laboratory surrounded by vats of chemicals. The gate of St John's College is shown. Raymond Williams talks about the challenge to the lecturer on television. Williams, Hoggart and Noordhof air their ideas for the future of educational television. The film ends with street scenes of students walking along in gowns, and King’s College Chapel.

Keywords

Cambridge University; Anglia Television; Adult education; Continuing education; Universities; Milk float; Horse drawn vehicles; Television aerials

Background Information

This film is cross referenced to two earlier Anglia films because clips from them were used in the 1963 Dawn University introduction: 793/61 [not in EAFA – described in Anglia Film Diary as Bumping races on the River Cam] 1740/62 Cat 115891 Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, 1962 - 'Cambridge Poem' The shooting script, contract and correspondence for the Dawn University lecture 'The Molecules of Life' are held in Special Collections at the Bodleian Library, Oxford Fred Hoyle lectured on 'The Mathematics of Violence' focusing on violence at football matches. See Jane Gregory, 'Fred Hoyle's Universe'. "At the same time - and this was an equally imaginative venture - closed circuit television lectures were broadcast for two days by Cambridge University and the new University of East Anglia, which was then starting its first academic programmes, and for one day by Cambridge and Imperial College, London. These lectures, related to seminars, were designed to see whether universities could work together effectively in the use of television, They were described by Laslett as a 'rough, brash experiment' from which 'an enormous amount was learnt ... in three days'. It was estimated that 200,000 viewers saw the Dawn University programmes, nearly double the then University population of Great Britain. In order to examine their impact Laslett ... organised the taking of a sample of viewer and listener reactions. He had the support of TAM, ITV's market research organisation. The sample (64% were women, about half of them housewives) was drawn from respondents to a coupon placed in the TV Times, none of whom was over the age of 59: the biggest age group was that between 20 and 29. Leaving aside students, only 17 per cent of the viewers had a university education. A third of the viewers were in minor clerical jobs, and 6 per cent were unskilled manual workers. Asa Briggs, 'Michael Young: Social Entrepreneur', 2001

  • Production company : Anglia Television

  • Director : Harry Aldous

  • Script : Eric Halliday

  • Editor : Eric Halliday

  • Editor : Tudor Lloyd

  • Camera : Ian Craig

  • Presenter : Antony Brown

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Introductory Programme To Dawn University

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