Skip to comments.US students think British are 'the pale people in the rain'
Posted on 06/18/2004 4:51:08 PM PDT by MadIvan
Tomorrow's American leaders think Britain is arrogant, cold, rainy, and far from the cutting edge in science, culture or business, a "disturbing" new survey suggests.
The survey, entitled "Pale People in the Rain" and commissioned by the British Council, found that young, high-achieving students placed Britain far down their list of places to study abroad. They called British universities strict, expensive, hard to enter and "mainly for the upper classes".
For most subjects, they thought staying in the US was the best choice. For computing or high technology, almost three quarters said Japan was the cutting edge. Students interviewed in separate focus groups were uniformly unable to name a single recent British scientific or technical achievement.
For art and design, two thirds made France their preferred destination. Only in the humanities, especially history and literature, did Britain come top as a place to study.
London was judged a "fun" place to study by 90 per cent of students and England had a positive rating as a country. Yet - asked to choose one country to visit - only six per cent chose England. The most popular were France and Italy.
More than 60 per cent of the students said Britain was too cold and rainy for them to want to study there. Fewer than half believed Britain was aptly described as "modern and contemporary", while fewer than one third strongly believed Britain was a "technology leader".
Maureen Michaels, whose New York-based firm conducted the poll, said: "If Britain was a business client of mine, I'd tell them, 'You are not a top choice, in any shape or form'."
The survey questioned some 2,000 ethnic minority students with A or B grade averages and extensive extra-curricular achievements. It was designed to focus on the fastest growing segments of the US population - Latino, Asian American and blacks. All live in Texas and California, booming states set to dominate the "new America" of a few years' time.
The British Council expressed concern that only one third of minority students thought Britain could be described as "diverse".
Once you're inside, you're usually dry, so the rain didn't bother me, either. : )
I don't think a term at Oxford or Cambridge would hurt a humanities type. The London School of Economics is highly rated and in my current specialty, information science, the Brits are quite competitive.
I went to the Univ of London as a foreign student (as opposed to do one of those Americanized year abroad things). Paid all of $50 (compared to the thousands my parents were paying for me at the U of Michigan). It was a great experience, but then, I was an English lit and history major. I don't know if I would go to an English university if I was in the sciences.
At the time, I could read Beowulf in the original. Thankfully, I realized there was not much call for that in the real world and moved on to other things. Makes a great background for the Lord of the Rings stuff, tho.
Cool site. If my info sci friends (other people who also know weird things like Beowulf in the original) don't already know about it, they will soon.
Interesting that they saved that piece of info until the end of the article. Also explains the 'pale people' comment, which I thought was absurd.
Last time I check, Tim isn't British and had came to the US to work. If those students want to follow his lead, they'll stick around the US.
I attended Oxford for a semester with a friend and enjoyed the tutorial system. The quality of the education was fine but we always felt that we were looked down upon as minorities but some of that could be chalked up to Britain's class conscious culture. Although it was the most polite discrimination we ever experienced we still heard the whispers and saw the stares. I'm sure things have changed in the 9 years since we attended.
France and Italy are only popular destinations for their food and images (read easy women and 'romantic' men). All the serious students I knew in college went to the UK and Japan if they wanted a year abroad.
I love England. My dad was born/raised there so half my family is there. Been there at least 15 times. I would probably live there if America wasn't so awesome. I love all the history and things to see - Roman, Celtic, Middle Ages, Tutor, Norman, Elizabethean. I mean where else can you walk half a mile down the street from your grandma's to pass by Lewis Carroll's house and a 1000 year old castle built for William the Conquerer? Or wander into the woods behind an uncle's house and find the ruins of a castle?
But these people think British schools are expensive??!!?? BS. My English gran had this trust for all of her grandkids education. Everyone got the same amount. My cousins could pay for their WHOLE education at Cambridge or Oxford, while that same amount only covers 1/3 of 1 year at a school of equal or worse caliber in the US. For non-citizens, Cambridge and Oxford are under $10k a year.
The rain does annoy. I have many fond memories of it always raining. I suppose the paleness explains why I am one of the palest white people you'll ever meet :) (I look very English). Sorry for the rambling... but I'm a huge Anglophile.
Fan from 1970-1997 , when Dave M. left the band for good .
" Of course, they are much different from the original band, Simon Nicol is the only original, but they are still fantastic. "
Sure they are , but for me w/o Mattacks it ain't FC ! I mean , if they were playing locally I'd go and see them , of course . But with Gerry I wouldn't go out of my way to see them , if you get my drift .
" The festival is in a small village called Cropredy. Are you familiar with it? "
Know it well through FC video , CDs and literature , but have never been there .
" Gerry Conway played with Sandy Denny many years ago also."
First off, What's wrong with pale people. I'm so pale, I can't even obtain a good suntan. It's pale or red here.
Second, isn't France known for rain as well???? I mean, I'm no European climate expert but it IS on the ocean and I am well aware of Seattle and Portland's climate in the Pacific Northwest........
Britain was too cold and rainy for them
Cold? How often does is snow in England(I've heard most of it is like Seattle weatherwise) or even Scotland? And what harm is a little rain...what are they? Wimps???
I'd like to see them get used to Michigan.......We can have 90 degrees(about 30 Centigrade?) one day and snow the next. With Tornados, blizzards, Lake Effect snow, and Ice Storms mixed in......They wouldn't be able to take a year in Marquette.....
I think this survey was done by Dumb and Dumber.
Oh, geez! That explains it...
And Britain isn't cold, at least South of Scotland. It's the same temperature all year 'round. The grass is always green. I was so disappointed -- I was looking forward to that snowy Little-Match-Girl, Dickensian sort of thing.
One of the problems with the perception of British as not being cutting edge is that British people have familiar sounding names and I know I have found myself assuming they are Americans. When an article mentions Francois LaBeouf you can be reasonably sure the guy isn't from Omaha.
Boy does that sound familiar. As Twain said, "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education".