Wednesday 18 June 2014

English Go Home!

A Tudor foundation in international Cambridge

Interesting news item today about how few Welsh students go to Oxford or Cambridge Universities - follow this link.

The Welsh Government is right to look at this and not to be afraid of any accusation about worrying about elitism. Paul Murphy's report makes some sense although surely he prescribes too many "hubs" - there would be tiny numbers of pupils involved in each of them?

Some years back I came across an interesting example of a very able youngster who I thought could get into Oxford or Cambridge but who believed, along with her parents, that it was a bit of a betrayal to go to an English university. I won the argument (and she went to Cambridge and has since been a glittering success) on the basis that Oxford and Cambridge are not English universities at all but international ones.

Trust me, that is not just talk: they scarcely respect English law let alone English culture.

Famously there was a graffito on the wall of the toilets in Jesus College, Oxford (the historic "Welsh" college - although only 15% of their students today are from Wales which rather illustrates the problem), which read "English go home!". Sounds absurd written in the very heart of England but in that stateless enclave it made a kind of sense.