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  1. #31
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    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.
    Well... when you compare the Scottish weather with the Spanish one, they sure have to be EXTREMELY motivated!

    ---

    Anyway. In France, we have already met the same phenomena with students from southern and eastern Europe. They often try as much as they can to stay with us.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  2. #32
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Most ordinary native English users score as low as 5.5. The average British student scores 6.8.
    How's your statistics, Blackmail! Not up to much?

    In a country of 60 million there's enough 8s and 9s to fight for a place.

    A colleague some years ago applied to Oxford, having excelled at school. He was refused on the grounds that his Latin was not up to the job... They've always been like that.

    Nonetheless, as a guide to quality, someone with a Oxbridge degree has proven themselves academically in a way someone with a very good degree in a new university (read: former polytechnic) has not.

    It's entirely possible they look down on you, not because you are French, but because you are not academically "prestigious" enough... Why would they dilute their brand by forming associations with jumped-up European technocrats? /sarc

    They live in another century.
    Oh, yes.

    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.
    Without a doubt MIT, Stanford, et al.

    Why are you that bothered about a KB from the crusties at Oxbridge? Do you want to will them into the 21st Century? Because they're not for moving. Your revolutionary zeal falls on deaf ears in the hallow'd cloisters of Oxbridge academia.

  3. #33
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    I was invited to study at Cambridge when I was in HS.

    I studied international relations and terrorism. That was the summer before my Senior year.

  4. #34
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I was invited to study at Cambridge when I was in HS.

    I studied international relations and terrorism. That was the summer before my Senior year.
    I too have been several times in Cambridge (but not as a student), and have had several friends who studied there (mostly American friends). It's not that legendary, and once again, technically I was rather disappointed because I know several campus that provide better courses. That's why I showed no apprehension to contact them.

    On the other hand, even if their real scientific skill seems to be greatly overrated, their snobbery seems well deserved.

    The more I think about it, the more I'd say I perceive Oxbridge not as a tool for academic excellence only, but also as a social institution designed to segretate the old British gentry from the lower labouring classes.

    Such institutions are only possible in a country with extreme social, cultural and economic disparities: that's probably why they do not look like anything we have in continental Europe.

    What do you think of that hypothesis?
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    What do you think of that hypothesis?
    I think your hypothesis is disappointingly subjective.

    I personally believe that the lack of selectivity is actually causing a degradation of higher education in the UK, not an excess of it.

  6. #36
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    I think your hypothesis is disappointingly subjective.
    actually, BM may well have a point (and the dispartities, the uni thing is bonkers of course), presumably the UK poverty affluence gap is bigger than it has ever been (although I'm no ecconomist).

    Jim you're Scottish then? Gosh I think that makes 3... CJ yourself and myself eweeeeeeeee

  7. #37
    psicobolche tcda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    I think your hypothesis is disappointingly subjective.

    I personally believe that the lack of selectivity is actually causing a degradation of higher education in the UK, not an excess of it.
    So you just equated social "selectivity" with academic "selectivity"?

    Have you seen some of the people who went to Oxbridge just because of their old school ties. I have, and it's not pretty. David Cameron and Boris Johnson anyone?

    In fact, only someone with a subjective interest in doing so, could actually claim that the British public school elite are somehow "academically superior", rather than a bunch of uninspired technocrats trained in free market fundamentalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Such institutions are only possible in a country with extreme social, cultural and economic disparities: that's probably why they do not look like anything we have in continental Europe.
    Many French industrial and public sector workers, and youths in suburban Paris housing estates, seem to disagree, old boy.

    It seems someone wouldn't take their boss hsotage or torch a police car if they didn't consider there to be an "extreme social, cultural and economic disparity".
    "Of course we spent our money in the good times. That's what you're supposed to do in good times! You can't save money in the good times. Then they wouldn't be good times, they'd be 'preparation for the bad times' times."

    "Every country in the world owes money. Everyone. So heere's what I dont get: who do they all owe it to, and why don't we just kill the bastard and relax?"

    -Tommy Tiernan, Irish comedian.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcda View Post
    So you just equated social "selectivity" with academic "selectivity"?
    They are inversely proportionate; the uptake for most UK universities is so open due to government initiatives to cram as many in that those with moneys are more likely to choose to pay extra to be more exclusive. If the uptake was more discriminating there would actually be less social selectivity.

  9. #39
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Well, if you ask me, the last thing we need strolling through the hallow'd cloisters of Oxbridge are a bunch of oiks with a BA in Scribbling from some trumped-up market town "university"; or Johnny Foreigners with "revolutionary" ideas, claiming to be the best thing since Jean-Paul Sartre's last bunk-up. Or fry-up. (I prefer the latter).

    Good day to you, sir.

  10. #40
    psicobolche tcda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    They are inversely proportionate; the uptake for most UK universities is so open due to government initiatives to cram as many in that those with moneys are more likely to choose to pay extra to be more exclusive. If the uptake was more discriminating there would actually be less social selectivity.
    So there was less social selectivity when there were less university places? I don't think so, the historical evidence says the opposite.

    As long as private education exists, those who have it will dominate the top "best" universities. At the top public schools it doesn't matter how stupid someone is, the teacher will practically write your coursework for them until they get top marks. Cutting unviersity places won't solve that at all.
    "Of course we spent our money in the good times. That's what you're supposed to do in good times! You can't save money in the good times. Then they wouldn't be good times, they'd be 'preparation for the bad times' times."

    "Every country in the world owes money. Everyone. So heere's what I dont get: who do they all owe it to, and why don't we just kill the bastard and relax?"

    -Tommy Tiernan, Irish comedian.

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