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 MŁnchen (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.
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?