Wednesday, 29 July 2009

British and American universities 'should merge to beat competition' - Times Online

On a previous post, i expressed concern about the academy and what on earth young nerdlings would do with their graduate degrees. Today, i saw this article:

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I remember Rick Trainor from King's College--i think he's American, like many other professors at King's, which makes the partnership easy to understand. From what i can recall, there seemed to be a very strong connection between the English departments of King's and Penn. Nice.

Two things made me flinch. This:
Universities are springing up in China, Korea, India and the Middle East, posing a potential threat to the supremacy of western institutions.
It's a pretty arrogant statement. Not only are Western institutions superior, but the 'threat' of other institutions is thinkable, slightly frightening, but still only pose 'a potential threat.'

The second thing that makes me a bit nervous is the behaviour of English universities to Israeli academics. This year was the first time  American academics have boycotted Israel, though it remains to a far lesser degree than in the UK. I wonder what this alliance will bring.

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