Europe Thinks Building Its Own MIT Will Be Easy

from the copy-cats dept

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it's not quite the way to get ahead in the global economy. It's not clear why Europeans keep wanting to build "the European version of x." Why not go out and build the next generation of what's needed, rather than simply trying to catch up? By the time they get anywhere near, the rest of the world will have moved on. There's already been plenty of talk about the plan out of France and Germany to build their very own Google called Quaero, but now the EU thinks it's simple to build its own version of MIT also. While the American primary school system is showing some problems when compared to European counterparts -- the American university system is still going strong. That isn't to say it doesn't have it's problems (does it ever) or that competition isn't strong (it certainly is), but so far, no one has yet been able to take the crown. Europe does already have some very strong universities, though -- and simply setting up yet another one and suddenly proclaiming it the MIT of Europe seems likely to fail. It's not just because making a great university takes a bit more than declaring some new university a great university, but because a great university doesn't want to be "the whatever of wherever." It wants to lead and stand out on its own right -- not by catching up and matching something else, but by creating the next generation university on its own terms.


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    identicon
    dorpus, Jan 15th, 2006 @ 11:38pm

    Heh

    What language are they going to teach it in? Esperanto? If anyone dare say "English", rioting students would burn the school down.

    I got an invitation to apply from a European university, apparently a fairly prestigious one over there (Institut Hautes Etudes Internationales). It has nothing to do with my field (genetics). I've been getting random invitations like this from various schools because of my GRE scores. I guess they must be desperate when they're asking American geneticists to join European "international relations" programs.



     

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      Shame on, Jul 9th, 2006 @ 1:56am

      Re: Heh

      u must be kidding and ashamed 2...u speak english yeah? we speak 2, right? u r a generation created by europeans but u sucked up all the thing and made a different culture which brought many wrongs and wars to peaceful pple...what a shame listening that u have high degrees and wanting to apply at an american university...BUT that's not a problem, the problem is that USA will take anything keepful from u to access it to its world and military purposes, but WE Europeans try to find anything for all the world living on earth (what a shame ha?)

       

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    elburgo, Jan 16th, 2006 @ 12:07am

    No Subject Given

    I think the bigger issue is voiced in the article itself... Europe always trying to catch up to America? Please, America, get over yourself.

    There are plenty of prestigious institutions in Europe, many of them older than the entire system in the US. And where would the USí hubs of technology be without the work done in Japan and Taiwan? What about the fact that MIT may indeed be eclipsed by a combined European school? Having been the first does not necessarily mean to say that one is the best in their field.

    Itís the kind of blissfully-unaware arrogance voiced in this article that causes the US to gain and further the reputation it has today in many different domains.

     

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      dorpus, Jan 16th, 2006 @ 12:26am

      Re: No Subject Given

      >And where would the USí hubs of technology be without the work done in Japan and Taiwan?

      So exactly what have Japanese/Taiwanese contributed in terms of university research? Are you sure Asia's best and brightest don't all come to the USA to get a better education? Occasionally, star Asian researchers in the U.S. make high-profile moves back to their home countries, but they are disappointed by the systematic rigidity and obstacles to innovation, so they quietly return to the U.S.


      > What about the fact that MIT may indeed be eclipsed by a combined European school?

      Yes, tell us about how a European school is going to succeed in becoming a world-class university, by attracting world-class talent -- i.e. granting admission to non-Europeans, allowing them to take faculty positions, all at the expense of Europeans. From everything I have seen, Europeans are obsessed with standing up for their own kind, systematically excluding non-Europeans, which is what prevents them from becoming world class.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 16th, 2006 @ 12:33am

        Re: No Subject Given

        "From everything I have seen, Europeans are obsessed with standing up for their own kind, systematically excluding non-Europeans, which is what prevents them from becoming world class."

        while you may have a point ur validation for the point is not valid (at least in the u.k.) we have a strange system here the schools are just completely useless and old stupid system, and univerisitys are split. the old unis are so stuck in their ways they refuse to accept they need to modernise

        the NEW unis are much better much more modern but get ignored and no-one pays attention

         

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          dorpus, Jan 16th, 2006 @ 12:38am

          Re: No Subject Given

          Yeah, I just read a hilariously unscientific ""discovery" published by British psychology researchers today.

          Unfortunately, it looks like Europeans will have to be humbled a lot more by non-European powers before they are willing to get their act together.

           

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      Mike (profile), Jan 16th, 2006 @ 12:29am

      Re: No Subject Given

      I think you misunderstood my point -- and I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. I made it clear that Europe has plenty of strong universities. That's why I'm wondering why they feel the need to create "the MIT of Europe." I didn't say that, the people setting up this university said it. So, don't say it's Americans being arrogant -- I was just writing based on what the Europeans said.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 16th, 2006 @ 6:31am

      Re: No Subject Given

      "There are plenty of prestigious institutions in Europe, many of them older than the entire system in the US."
      old != prestigious.


      "What about the fact that MIT may indeed be eclipsed by a combined European school?"
      'Maybe' doesn't count for much. Do it first, then Europe's crumbling higher education system might get some credibility.


      "Having been the first does not necessarily mean to say that one is the best in their field."
      Aren't you the one who just used age as a selling point? The reason MIT, Caltech, Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford, etc are great isn't because they're old - most aren't - it's because of the resources available at these institutions. The US has a disproportionate number of the world's best institutions, though of course a number of great universities exit elsewhere (Oxford, Cambridge, and a handful in the far east.)


      "Itís the kind of blissfully-unaware arrogance voiced in this article that causes the US to gain and further the reputation it has today in many different domains."
      I think the idea that one can establish a school and immediately declare it the superior of MIT is blissfully-unaware ignorance AND arrogance.
      And note that while you contradict yourself, you don't address the central theme of the article - Europe would do better to gain its own identity(ies) rather than attemting to best the US in some sort of petty gamesmanship.

       

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    Javier Prenafeta, Jan 16th, 2006 @ 12:49am

    American versions

    Well, you're right this time, but I'm also waiting when we would see the next bad American version of a good European movie.

     

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      dorpus, Jan 16th, 2006 @ 1:11am

      Re: American versions

      Sure, when Europeans learn to make movies that actually appeal to global audiences -- not the low-budget films set in ugly apartments, portraying themes that only socialist-minded Europeans relate to.

       

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        Herr;theMrMickeyHouse, Sep 12th, 2009 @ 5:22am

        Re: Re: American versions

        and along came Jack....
        His name's not important, though;now, within the Mickey House, has become ever so important as a purveyor of taste, tenacity and trepidation that we may so purvey as we have done previously.
        Maroon a Star such as Brando in a French;occupied, apartment and see what happens.......
        Ever watched Casablanca?
        The building wasn't;necessarily,the kind we'd live in, though closer approximations are scant......

         

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    randomGuy, Jun 15th, 2006 @ 3:55am

    American version?

    I don't see your point?
    The thing that's surprising when you look at universities in Europ is the lack of money and yet they manage to get results!
    (Good at that : VIH discovery is not a US one for example)
    There's no protectionism in the system, I'm in one of those european unis and i can tell you a good chunk of the profs we had where not europeans!
    The major pb being that if you want to do research in europ, you have to accept the low funding (in France for example, the politicians in charge feel like cutting Reasearch ressources and raising police forces funds)
    The top medecine research center in France has an internationnal status, make great discoveries BUT their labs are 19th century when compared to thoses of any US unis..

    Seriously the major pb is funding not some stupid bias like "European don't liek stranger taking their places" stereotype

     

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