CEREDIGION CYLCHGRAWN CYMDEITHAS HYNAFIAETHWYR CEREDIGION JOURNAL OF THE CEREDIGION ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY CYFROL (VOLUME) IX 1982 Rhifyn (NUMBER) 3 THE ABERDARE REPORT AND CARDIGANSHIRE AN ASSESSMENT OF EDUCATIONAL CONDITIONS AND ATTITUDES IN 1881 At the present time Cardiganshire is to Wales what Scotland is to England. It is the county that has kept education to the front in Wales, and the spirit of education prevails in Cardiganshire more than any other place. Therefore, I think Cardiganshire has a claim, not as a question of justice or of right, but of expediency, as being the county in Wales where education has been most appreciated, and therefore, we may infer, where it would still be most appreci- iated." Professor T. McKenny Hughes, the Woodwardian Professor of Geology at Cambridge and a native of Llandovery, another illustrious educational centre in Victorian Wales, was not asked by Lord Aber- dare to support his thesis quantitatively. Undeniably, there was much truth in his argument. But similar sentiments were to be voiced about other parts of Wales by numerous witnesses who gave evidence to the Aberdare Committee. There was much to be proud of in the scholastic institutions of the county at the time, but a study of all the evidence submitted also reveals that in Cardiganshire as elsewhere in Wales, there was much need both for educational reform and for more enlight- ened educational attitudes. Appointment of the Aberdare Committee and its importance It was on 25 August 1880 that the Education Department appointed a Committee to inquire into the present condition of Intermediate and Higher Education in Wales, and to recommend the measures which they think advisable for improving and supplementing the provision that is now or might be made abvailable for such education in the Principality.'4