A survey suggests American universities are becoming the new status symbol among British society. High school seniors are reportedly flocking to not only ivy leagues but all kinds of colleges across the sea instead of attending well-known European universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, and other Russel Group universities.
According to Tatler magazine, UK students are flocking to the states for continued studies now more than ever. The publication has conducted an informal survey in conjunction with their annual Schools Guide — a useful tool for parents looking to send their kids to elite institutions. The survey has concluded that there has been a recent “surge” in applications to US-based colleges. The society bible explains,
“Almost all of the main public schools report a significant increase in both applications to US universities and pupils accepting places at them. The majority contacted now have at least a quarter of pupils applying to the US and/or Canada, with Brighton College seeing a 10- to 15-fold increase over the past four years.”
As far as what is bringing on this new fad, some are looking towards British socialites for answers. Various UK celebrities and royalty have been international students at American institutions, including Lady Gabriella Windsor who studied at Brown, Lady Violet Manners who is enrolled at UCLA, and Brooklyn Beckham who was previously enrolled in NYU among others.
However, following in celebrities’ footsteps isn’t the only appealing aspects that US schools hold over British students. American institutions offer great qualities that UK-based schools may not have, including more contact hours, greater course flexibility, gorgeous campuses, as well as the ability to take a wide range of classes before declaring a major which gives students countless options.
Sharon Walpole, Director of www.careermap.co.uk, has commented on the increasing popularity of American schooling in the UK,
“Many young people understand that studying outside the UK is a unique experience. It gives the chance to see other parts of the world, make friends and really immerse themselves in another culture. This is personally rewarding, but also looks great on a CV and impresses employers. It takes confidence and independence to break the norm, especially going to a country where the culture and language may be completely different. Going to the US is not as far as it used to be; with the world shrinking and life online, the distance and separation is not so great. The US is a large country with lots of regional differences. This means students can shop around to find a place that matches their personality, whether that is an Ivy League (like Harvard or Yale), a small rural college or one near a beach in California.”
While American ivy league colleges have always been attractive to prospective students world-wide, non-ivy league colleges may also see a rise in international UK-native students since acceptances are limited among top tier colleges.