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  1. #21
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Most of the exchange programmes the British universities have, are specifically designed to attract fluent English-speaking students only.
    Even if this were true, then an exam would be sufficient in figuring out who is "fluent" enough to attend, like the TOEFL exam requirements for McGill in Canada and many universities in the United States rather than just blocking out students from countries where English is not a main language.

    I'm going to guess unfriendliness toward continental Europe for this one.
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  2. #22
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runvardh View Post
    There's brand, then there's reputation, then there's straight up legend..........
    Exactly my point

  3. #23
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runvardh View Post
    Got bored, but admittedly I was a little lazy about the search (Wikipeda):

    Technische Universität München
    - Founded in 1868

    Politecnico di Milano
    - Founded in 1863

    Technische Universiteit Delft
    - Founded in 1842

    École Normale Supérieure-Ulm
    - Founded in 1794

    T?ky? Daigaku
    - Founded in 1877

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    - Founded in 1861 (opened 1865)

    University of California, Berkeley
    - Founded in 1868

    Harvard University
    - Founded in 1636

    University of Cambridge
    - Founded c. 1209

    University of Oxford
    - Unknown, teaching existed since 1096

    University College London
    - Founded in 1826


    There's brand, then there's reputation, then there's straight up legend..........
    First degree-granting university of the world was in Bologna tho so the "oldest institution" point is kind of moot.
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  4. #24
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Well it's not moot if the Op is trying to get a legend to tout his message

  5. #25
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    First degree-granting university of the world was in Bologna tho so the "oldest institution" point is kind of moot.
    Not if you compare histories since 11th and 13th centuries to those since only the 18th and 19th centuries. Basically comparing the mentioned institutions not which country has the oldest institution of all time on record.

    Edit: Actually, by what I found, only UCL doesn't have the history to back itself up when it comes to how they treated the request Blackmail has been sending out.
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  6. #26
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Even if this were true, then an exam would be sufficient in figuring out who is "fluent" enough to attend, like the TOEFL exam requirements for McGill in Canada and many universities in the United States rather than just blocking out students from countries where English is not a main language.
    As a matter of fact, they use an exam to determine who is worth to join their doctorate courses. It's the IELTS, and it is considered to be more reliable than the TOEFL.

    In the IELTS, the scale varies from 1 to 9 (expert user).

    Most ordinary native English users score as low as 5.5. The average British student scores 6.8.

    While most British and American universities "only" require a score of 6 for foreign students (a reasonable demand), Cambridge's architecture department requires a score of 7.5 on average and 8 in written English: a score that would be extremely hard to reach EVEN for a native English student.

    So it's ridiculous. I'm wondering how many Japanese candidates from the Todai could qualify, if any.

    I see it only as a tactic to discourage them.

    ---

    And the worst is that Cambridge's Architecture department is not that awesome, even if it's not that mediocre either. Anyway, many of our courses are far better than theirs, and require more technical and designing skills -especially our bi-cursus with Polytechnique/Ponts et chaussées/ESTP (1)-.

    I'm going to guess unfriendliness toward continental Europe for this one.
    It's very likely. Deliberate unfriendliness, and for political reasons. Conservative euroscepticism, coupled with the fact they're already busy forming students from their former colonies (especially India). They live in another century.

    ---

    (1) In France, ESTP is an acronym that stands for Ecole Spéciale des Travaux Publics, a superior school for engineers.
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  7. #27
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runvardh View Post
    Not if you compare histories since 11th and 13th centuries to those since only the 18th and 19th centuries. Basically comparing the mentioned institutions not which country has the oldest institution of all time on record.

    Edit: Actually, by what I found, only UCL doesn't have the history to back itself up when it comes to how they treated the request Blackmail has been sending out.
    It's not a question about history. Oldest institutions aren't necessarily the best: Take for instance the Sorbonne, founded in 1253.
    Yes, the courses are taught in illustrious buildings, some are even genuine Gothic halls. But the quality is not that great, only average.

    Anyway, the best universities in the world have been founded during the 19th century, and most of them are American, not British.
    If I could have the choice to join either Cambridge, Oxford or the MIT, I would choose the MIT: it's a no-brainer for me.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Most of the exchange programmes the British universities have, are specifically designed to attract fluent English-speaking students only.

    It's exactly like if they lived in another century and believed their vast colonial Empire still existed.
    Bitter much? Do remember just as France espouses the economic patriotique, countries like Scotland value free education for residents as a sacred right going back to the 15th century and thus we tend to be picky in taking in the correct number of oversees students while attempting to educate as many locals as possible to balance funding with opportunity.

    Lets not bring our nationalist tendancies into play and remember that a large majority of English an a noticeable majority of Welsh and Scots do not consider themselves European or the EU to be anything more than extremely annoying and way to inflict unacceptable conditions upon us (speaking as a Scot myself).

    Remember that Oxford and Cambridge are notoriously difficult to enter even as a Brit. I could have done so but considered then out of date and overpriced to the return on investment.

    Perhaps you should consider Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Heriott Watt, St. Andrews, UMIST, ICL, Reading, Southampton etc. which are all world class institutions in their own right.



    post edit: Also remember that most UK universities are both severly underfunded and overstreched in every way at this time and it is unlikely the government in the UK will want to wake up and smell the coffee on this one.

  9. #29
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    Bitter much? Do remember just as France espouses the economic patriotique, countries like Scotland value free education for residents as a sacred right going back to the 15th century and thus we tend to be picky in taking in the correct number of oversees students while attempting to educate as many locals as possible to balance funding with opportunity.

    Lets not bring our nationalist tendancies into play and remember that a large majority of English an a noticeable majority of Welsh and Scots do not consider themselves European or the EU to be anything more than extremely annoying and way to inflict unacceptable conditions upon us (speaking as a Scot myself).
    Well... As far as I remember, unlike their English counterparts, the Scottish universities aren't known for their Euroscepticism. As a matter of fact, Europhilia is often considered as a way to emancipate and distinguish themselves from the English dominant ideology, and as a way to cock a snook at their southern neighbours.

    Besides, we're not talking about a large number of students: it's a doctorate and post doctorate exchange program. It should concern only a few dozens candidates spread between the 12 partners (6 European universities, 6 Japan+S Korea).

    Remember that Oxford and Cambridge are notoriously difficult to enter even as a Brit. I could have done so but considered then out of date and overpriced to the return on investment.

    Perhaps you should consider Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Heriott Watt, St. Andrews, UMIST, ICL, Reading, Southampton etc. which are all world class institutions in their own right.
    So far, our contacts with Scottish universities (Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Glasgow) have been rather good, while our attempts with English ones have almost always been disastrous, even if we have many acquaintances there we occasionally meet in scientific or educational congresses.

    Scottish universities have all signed the Erasmus protocol with great enthusiasm, and the consequence is that in the school where I teach, more than half of our exchange students from Great Britain are Scots.

    ---

    I have contacted St Andrews, but as I said, I know nobody there. They have a very good Geography and Sustainable Development department, though. We shall see.
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Scottish universities have all signed the Erasmus protocol with great enthusiasm, and the consequence is that in the school where I teach, more than half of our exchange students from Great Britain are Scots.

    I have contacted St Andrews, but as I said, I know nobody there. They have a very good Geography and Sustainable Development department, though. We shall see.
    Yes, at Strathclyde we had quite a lot of Erasmus students; the interesting affect being that many from Spain chose to stay and get a degree from Strathclyde when compared to their institutions for a whole host of reasons such as better structure, realistic expectations, future opportunities, teaching quality and the wonderful Scottish straight conversion Masters in 5 years; I think in my year group we took in about 6 or 7 of them and 1 girl from Bordeux.

    St. Andrews is a tricky one; its very very exclusive and is a favourite hiding place for extremely wealthy Americans whose parents like to golf.

    The best way to get in there would be to make contact through the other university contacts you have in the area; all university degrees and examinations in the UK are kept consistent by cross checking expectations and teaching syllabuses between the similar departments of universities to ensure quality and accreditation; thus your best entry point is through their peers who have had good experiences of working with you.

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