Petty local universities.
“The provincial University of Toronto was thrown open to Nonconformists, unluckily not before the practice of charactering sectarian institutions had been introduced, and Canada had been saddled with `one-horse universities' ”
—Prof. Goldwin Smith: Nineteenth Century, July, 1886, p. 21.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on One-horse Universities from Infoplease: