(Original post by Einheri)
Have you ever been to Nazi Germany? No? Can you still comment on it? Sunderland's reputation precedes it as being nothing special - I'm just surprised that someone would travel from the USA in order to study there when it'll be no better or more impressive than any average American community college. Just seems strange to me, I'm not really trying to denigrate Sunderland - it is what it is.
All of our universities have significant numbers of international students. Whether that's fashionable major cities like Edinburgh, Newcastle or Manchester or more unfashionable cities like Sunderland, Salford or Preston. Why is this such a surprise?
Students want to come and experience the culture of another country. Sunderland is in the north east region, a region rich in historic and natural beauty. Named one of Lonely Planet's top world regions a couple of years back. From the coastline and castles of Northumberland, to the Dales of and Moors of Durham and Yorkshire. Plus two World Heritage Sites.
Whilst Sunderland itself is in the shadow of Newcastle (a vibrant city with thriving tourism sector - so another attraction for the international student) it is still very much its own city and quite a unique one at that.
So even putting academics to one side. Sunderland can offer the international student a unique and compelling cultural experience. As all of our universities can.
I think you're doing the university a slight disservice in saying it will be no better than an average American community college (you can't even draw any reasonable comparison between the two given their completely different objectives, size and purpse). I don't think you probably really know much about it (which was my point). I was trying to find out whether or not you were speaking from an informed point of view or not
. It seems that you can't really provide much to back up your claim that Sunderland is "nothing special".
Named best new university in 2001, recently named as offering the best student experience in the country and also having two thirds of its research as being of international quality (or world leading).
You may snigger at those first two, and not place much faith in such surveys of student experience, satisfaction and newspaper titles. But, even so, I don't think it can easily be dismseed as offering nothing special.
No, I have not been to Nazi Germany (as good as my academic abilities are I have not perfected time travel). I don't really see what it has in common with Sunderland, however.
I know about Nazi Germany through extensive academic research that has been built up over the last 70 years. Whilst I can never hope to read all of it, I can still come to some sort of an informed opinion using sources and scholarship (information) available to me.
You probably don't know much about Sunderland, or its university, beyond stereotypes. What do you actually
know about Sunderland? Just because you're ignorant of the university or city, and don't think it's up to much, doesn't mean that this is the truth.
In short, Sunderland as a university may never be a Stanford, Princeton, Oxford or ANU. Even as a city I'm not much of a fan of it beyond the Empire theatre and its beaches. Being more used to somewhere with more importance and vibrancy (Newcastle) I find its city centre more like a town.
But this isn't to say it still doesn't have academic strengths and some world leading researchers with two thirds of research submitted in the 2008 of at least international quaity. It (or any university in the UK) will be able to provide a completely different, experience than one found at an American Community College.