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UK students, maths and universities

(66 Posts)
happygardening Sun 10-Jan-16 15:00:44

Thought Id post on here to get maximum traffic. I have no particular view on this Im interested in others opinions.
I was recently talking to a friends DD a charming Asisn girl, she is at a top London university (she wasn't interviewed) studying maths stats etc, she told me that 90% of her fellow students are Asian. I have no problem with this but I'm wondering why?
Possible reasons:
1. The vast majority of applicants are Asians, UK students just simply don't apply. If they don't why not? Is the accommodation too expensive? Is generally living in London too expensive? They're not interested math and oth related subjects? They simply don't pull in the right grades? Or they're not encouraged to apply to top universities by their schools?
2. Top universities positively discriminate for non UK students because they pay significantly more fees?
3. Asians are better at math so top universities want them?
4. Asians have a better work ethic do top universities want them.
(Gross stereotype I know).
5. Should we be concerned that so few UK students want to study math and related subjects?
I genuinely dont know the answer to any of these questions or maybe there are better explanations I will watch the replies with interest.

originalmavis Sun 10-Jan-16 15:03:24

Maybe our maths whiz kids go abroad too? We are just back from Boston and there seems to be loads of Indian and Chinese/Japanese kids studying there (MIT/Harvard).

LIZS Sun 10-Jan-16 15:05:23

I think it is that the pull of London has waned for UK students due to cost of living there and lack of campus atmospheres. On the world stage London is still very much the place to be. For stem subjects there are likely to be relatively more o/s applicants as these subjects are not as attractive in
UK schools.

titchy Sun 10-Jan-16 15:10:03

1. London has a much higher proportion of overseas students than other places - why go abroad to study and live in the middle of nowhere when you can live in the capital city with tourist sites a stones throw away and lots of other students your nationality?

2. Maybe a lot of the Asian students are actually British.... Has she checked their passports, or assuming that because they're not white they must be foreign?

happygardening Sun 10-Jan-16 15:14:49

titchy no they are not UK passport holders.

happygardening Sun 10-Jan-16 15:17:29

Although of course they maybe UK educated.

titchy Sun 10-Jan-16 15:20:28

Look here:
http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Info-for-universities-colleges--schools/Policy-researchstatistics/Researchstatistics/International-students-in-UK-HE/#International-(non-UK)-students-in-UK-HE-in-2013-14]]

21% of maths students are overseas. Hardly the majority!

NiceCardigan Sun 10-Jan-16 15:24:16

It's a London thing. DD2 studied Maths at a very good uni not in London and her cohort didn't have a particularly high proportion of Asian students.

NiceCardigan Sun 10-Jan-16 15:26:36

DD2 had no desire to be in London she wanted a campus university experience so didn't consider any London unis.

happygardening Sun 10-Jan-16 15:29:10

She says 90% at her particular university are Asian. I'm not disputing that across all universities as a whole it might different but this is a top university, apparently it's the same at another top London university. That's why I'm discussing it. Perhaps it doesn't matter but so many on here place a lot of importance on these universities for future outcomes.

caroldecker Sun 10-Jan-16 15:32:17

Maths is a much easier topic to study abroad than most as there is no language issue. You may find that there are more foreign students studing maths.

happygardening Sun 10-Jan-16 15:51:51

And of course there are no essays for math. So your written English doesn't need to be perfect.

titchy Sun 10-Jan-16 15:54:18

It's the London effect that's all. Plenty of other highly regarded universities outside London so I don't think it's a particular concern. It's not as if UK applicants are being bumped to make space for the overseas ones!

happygardening Sun 10-Jan-16 16:07:05

titchy do you know that for sure?
Isn't a student paying nearly double what a UK student is paying quite an attractive option?
Does it really not matter if UK students aren't studying a subject like math at the countries leading universities?
If we as a nation are to remain players on the global stage (in terms of our economiy) do we need math graduates from these universities?
Apparently most are aiming for careers in the big investment banks.

senua Sun 10-Jan-16 16:23:40

It seems a short-sighted policy. Who would want to enrol on a course with such a bias?

I didn't encourage my DC to apply to London Universities because
1) the cost
2) they seem to be full of Internationals or Londoners-living-at-home. I wanted the DC to have the more traditional melting-pot experience, which they did (at the Universities they chose, I hasten to add).

cressetmama Sun 10-Jan-16 16:26:58

We use a tutor for maths A level who is studying Physics at UCL. He went to school in Surrey and plans to be a nuclear physicist in France (deliberately vague).

However, I know from a chum of DS1 that none of his cohort (previous school, large rural comp) passed AS maths last year. That's right, NONE. The standard of maths teaching in the UK is very poor in general so it's not entirely surprising that universities are taking students from elsewhere.

titchy Sun 10-Jan-16 16:30:59

Of the four leading universities for Maths in England only one is in London, so no not a problem.

I am absolutely sure Imperial (the other top four) isn't turning away home applicants in favour of overseas ones.

Blue14 Sun 10-Jan-16 16:31:38

speaking as a London teacher, it is probably because the university is in an Asian area. Many London students stay at home to go to university, and in many areas white English students are a minority. My current school is 99% Asian, and my previous one over three quarters black.

Plus the fact that if the students have come from Asia, rather than London, the uni can charge them much higher fees.

titchy Sun 10-Jan-16 16:33:34

What top London university is in an Asian area blue?

bruffin Sun 10-Jan-16 16:38:54

I know two students who took maths and neither are Asian and neither in.London.
However ds cohort who are good st maths are doing physics or engineering degrees and again none in London, it is way too expensive for rent etc

happygardening Sun 10-Jan-16 17:15:07

I've checked the current university rankings (which do vary a little year on year) both universities are in the top 10. I've heard lots of students say this IC math and related topics is very dominated by Asians.
cresset I also worry about the same standard of math teaching in the UK.

lljkk Sun 10-Jan-16 17:30:42

(aside from Buckingham)
I thought most places are reserved for EU-only. With others opened up to non-EU. Is it even possible for a university to give most of its spaces on an undergrad course to non-EU students?

titchy Sun 10-Jan-16 17:31:50

Imperial has 38% international students. LSE and UCL similar. I think you need to remember that these institutions don't operate within a UK stage, but on a world wide one. Add in their London location and it's not really that surprising they have large numbers of overseas students. I'll bet Stanford and Harvard are similar.

As long as there are spaces for home students of the same calibre, which there are, I don't see a problem.

happygardening Sun 10-Jan-16 17:37:33

Of course I'm only saying what I've been told. But I really don't see why my info would be incorrect as its come directly from a current student at the university who's also Asian herself so I'm assuming she would know. All her flat mates are non UK citizens as apparently are most in her a university accommodation.
Perhaps it's not an issue, and I genuinely don't mind as long as UK students are applying and getting an equal shot at a place.

happygardening Sun 10-Jan-16 17:39:04

Interesting titchy be a use she's at one of those three and she telling a different story!

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