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Global Classrooms: Going Off to College for Less [The New York Times]

December 3, 2008

By Tamar Lewin, The New York Times

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Isobel Oliphant felt she was making an offbeat choice when she graduated from Fox Lane High School in Bedford, N.Y., and enrolled at the ancient university in this quiet coastal town of stone ruins and verdant golf courses.

“I thought I was being original,” said Ms. Oliphant, now in her third year at the University of St. Andrews. “But my high school class president came here, too. And when I got here, it was all ‘Hi, I’m from Massachusetts,’ ‘Hi, I’m from New York.’ ”

St. Andrews has 1,230 Americans among its 7,200 students this year, compared with fewer than 200 a decade ago.

The large American enrollment is no accident. St. Andrews has 10 recruiters making the rounds of American high schools, visiting hundreds of private schools and a smattering of public ones.

With higher education fast becoming a global commodity, universities worldwide — many of them in Canada and England — are competing for the same pool of affluent, well-qualified students, and more American students are heading overseas not just for a semester abroad, but for their full degree program. [Click here to read the rest of the article.]

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