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  1. #1
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Default Why is the British academia so snob?

    Greetings!

    As a university teacher working in a laboratory (in France), we are currently trying to establish a partnership between several prominent universities, a partnership that will focus on the exchange of doctorate and post doctorate students between Europe and Japan.

    Of course, we benefit from European Commission grants (hence my frequent travels to Brussels).

    We are required to aim for excellency in higher education, and hence, we have already shaped strong ties and bonds through different exchange programs with the TU Mnchen (German's best university), the Politecnico Milano (Italy's best university), TU Delft (Netherlands best technical university), the ENS-Ulm (France second best university), and the Todai (Japan's best university).

    ---

    We have also established ties with several American campus (mostly the Pennstate, Georgiatech, and Columbia), but through different independent programs.

    ---

    Unfortunately, there's a country with which it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to make any exchange program, and it is the UK.

    It's an enigma. Everybody, whether we are German, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Korean or Japanese is complaining about them.:steam:

    This week, I've tried to contact several acquaintances in Cambridge, Oxford, and the UCL, and each time, they just take a far away glance, and show no interest at all into our partnership proposals. One teacher in Cambridge even dared to say we're not "good enough" for them.
    Furthermore, when you check the prerequisites a foreign PhD student would need to fill in Cambridge, it's simply beyond understanding. It's simply ludicrous, like if they would try to scare away as much (non English-speaking) foreigners as possible! For instance, our students are required to fluently write English far better than the average British student (minimal ranking 7.5/9, while the ordinary English university student scores 6.8/9).

    The consequence is that everytime they make us the courtesy to sign a limited partnership (at least, outside the USA or the Commonwealth), their students can come freely to visit us, while ours are almost always denied to do so in return.

    In comparison with the British universities, even the Ivy league represents very welcoming institutions: it's far easier to sign a contract with the MIT, Berkeley or Harvard than with them.

    ---

    Anyway.

    Could somebody here explain why they behave so? Why do these guys at Cambridge, Oxford or the UCL still think they are the center of the World?

    What is wrong with them?
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  2. #2
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    OK you've picked 2 of the countries best uniniversities, both with histories as old as lord knows what.

    It would be the equivelent of you trying to establish an exchange programme with Harvard.

    Try some of the lesser universities, I went to business school at Middlesex, they did a ton of exchange stuff....

    The problem I thinkis your own making, lower your sights a little, the world and his wife wants to dealw ith Oxford and Cambrige, unles there is a whole lot of something in it for them why would they bother?

  3. #3
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerbell View Post
    OK you've picked 2 of the countries best uniniversities, both with histories as old as lord knows what.

    It would be the equivelent of you trying to establish an exchange programme with Harvard.

    Try some of the lesser universities, I went to business school at Middlesex, they did a ton of exchange stuff....

    The problem I thinkis your own making, lower your sights a little, the world and his wife wants to dealw ith Oxford and Cambrige, unles there is a whole lot of something in it for them why would they bother?
    As I told you, it's a EC-sponsored program that already aims for excellency in higher education, and one of its goal is to make a lot of publicity for Europe. And to tell you the truth, many of our partners already provide far better courses that the ones you may find in Cambridge in Oxford: they're not the center of the world.

    For instance the Todai is the best university in eastern Asia.

    University of Tokyo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    "The University of Tokyo (????, T?ky? daigaku), abbreviated as Todai (??, T?dai)[3], is a major research university located in Tokyo, Japan. The University has 10 faculties with a total of around 30,000 students, 2,100 of whom are foreign. Its five campuses are in Hong?, Komaba, Kashiwa, Shirokane and Nakano. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious universities in Japan, it ranks as the highest in Asia and third in the world in 2009 according to Global University Ranking."

    ---

    And in the ENS-Ulm, you have the best department of Mathematics of the world. You have 12 laureates of the Nobel prize and 9 recipients of the Field medals that teach there. Do we really look like wild, uneducated barbarians?

    ---

    But still, they treat us as "undesirable". They do exchange programs almost exclusively with English-speaking countries, and ruthlessly disregard the others.

    Once again, and since you mention them, signing an agreement with Harvard is a far easier task.
    Last edited by Blackmail!; 02-13-2010 at 03:46 AM.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  5. #5
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    Once you've been around for a certain amount of centuries and belong to what was recently the largest empire in the world; most people end up having to look at your nose hairs more than your eyes. That, of course coming from a citizen of one of their commonwealth nations.

    Edit: just a thought... "Keep your chin up, you make a better target." - Confucious
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  6. #6
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    The issue is that you are picking the coutnries two most prestigious in our country, one of them the oldest in the English speaking world, and then you think the world owes you a living...

    Both of thos particular universities are inundating with offerings of fundings from all over the world, so technically speaking you are likely to be rather small fry, even if you are touting an EEC branding.... Try a lesser university where you ahve a fighting change of being taken seriously.

    There are several universities that have specalist courses that are held in higher regards in their own right.

    Maybe try St Andrews, you may fair better north of the border

  7. #7
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    I was a little kid when I went to (university name self edited out) when my Dad went for his post doctorate there. He earned his way there legitimately. However it was my understanding that for a half a million pounds "endowment" they would have accepted me regardless of my GPA due to my fathers alumni status.

    Consider the option working via an English national alumni to lobby (bribe) them if that tactic is not below you/your organization...less morally dark half measures along this line may suffice as well.
    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

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  8. #8
    psicobolche tcda's Avatar
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    You just added "British" and "academia" together - do you really need to ask why "snob" is the result?
    "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?"

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  9. #9
    Senior Member tinkerbell's Avatar
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    in fairness you are chasing after the biggest global brands in academia, the question is why?

    Possibly because it will add a whole bunch of credibility - they say you've not earned it (paid for it)... it's their brand name after all, they have rights to select who they sponsor....

    Try aiming less high at the brand snobbery, you may fair better with Warwick, which has serious credientials or another less prestigious school

  10. #10
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerbell View Post

    Maybe try St Andrews, you may fair better north of the border
    Excellent suggestion, even if I know nobody there.

    Nonetheless, I will try it immediately. Let's see if the Scots deserve their reputation of friendliness towards Continental Europe.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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