January 19, 2004
Educationally Europe must be doing something right

Further to the Europe/America University thing, see below, there has been another highly pertinent and Brian's Education Blog Relevant comment at Samizdata from "Scott" (who just might, judging by the email he used, be this guy. Anyway, F. Scott Kieff or not F Scott not Kieff, Scott has this to say:

What's too bad, for Europe at least, is that it actually does a good job in the initial training of scientists and engineers. I have a friend whose engineer father (himself a Belgium emigré) who'll only hire Europeans because he finds them more diligent and better trained. I've also been told that less Americans go for the PhD, rather, they get the BS (bachelor of science degree) and then go for paying jobs right away. So, European students take up the slack.

When another friend of mine was earning his mech e phd at a Berkely, there were several Euro students, especially German. I got an earful from them about the problems they faced in Germany. They were proudly patriotic (for Germany), but readily admitted that their future was here. Before the same friend gained tenure, there was concern about giving an American tenure instead of trying to lure in another Euro scientists. So, there is high demand.

I say the more the merrier, and merry they do seem to be working here.

Scott's comment was only a comment and evidently typed in hastily, so I've cleaned up some of the spelling and grammar, which I trust he doesn't mind. Not sure about "Berkely".

Otherwise, good point, n'est-ce pas? Or should that be: nicht wahr? (Sp? UPDATE thankyou Tim H) Europe must be doing something right, educationally speaking.

Although, maybe what they are doing right, educationally speaking, is not having such a vibrant economy, tempting those being educated out into it to earn immediate money, instead of pressing on with education. After all, Eastern Europe has long been crammed with highly intelligent, super-educated people. And they got so highly educated precisely because unless they did this, they'd not be able to earn any decent money at all. In America, anyone half decently educated is quids in – dollars in, I should say – by comparison.

Still, the point stands. If Europe wasn't cranking out any educated brains, there couldn't be any brain drain to America in the first place, could there?

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 05:15 PM
Category: Higher education