In 19th-century Britain, the liberal ideal of obtaining full citizenship and personhood through voting and education contributed to an interest in accessing the ballot and universities from half of the population excluded from such personhood: women. This chapter explores the history of women’s education in the UK, which was concurrent with the initial expansion of education, generally. However, evident in the foundation of the first women’s colleges at Cambridge, Oxford and elsewhere we find two ideas of equality articulated. The first, the ‘Newnham’ ideal articulated by utilitarian philosopher Henry Sidgwick at Newnham College, Cambridge, argued that examinations should be handicapped and adapted to women’s interests in order to maximise participation in university education. The second ideal, however, articulated by Emily Davies at Girton College, Cambridge, argued that anything less than participation in the same examinations amounted to an acknowledgement of women’s inferiority – in other words, an affirmation of inequality.