After touring 18 major research universities in the United Kingdom to learn about their most elite graduate programs, what was one of the main takeaways for Julye Bidmead, Ph.D., Chapman’s director of Chapman University’s Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs?
They’re all especially eager to recruit high-achieving American students to their programs.
UK loves American students
“One professor told me he liked having American students in his classes because they speak up. Another group told us that they like American students because our general education requirements are broader and create more well-rounded students,” Bidmead says.
Those were just a couple of the benefits gained from the whirlwind trip to 18
universities, an association of the UK’s most elite research institutions. Bidmead, who’s also an associate professor in the
Department of Religious Studies
, was part of a delegation of just 34 fellowship advisors from across the country who made the trip, sponsored by The Russell Group.
As Chapman’s main advisor to students seeking prime graduate school placements and post-graduate fellowships, Bidmead said the fact-finding mission helped her better understand what students need to be competitive applicants.
After so many visits, Bidmead says she feels she can also give students a sense of what life is like at the various universities. The London campuses are diverse and benefit from the city’s cultural offering, while the University of Southampton near South Downs National Park offers a more bucolic experience.
“The one that surprised me was Queens University in Belfast. I never even had considered that as an option, and I now would encourage students to consider going there. It’s a top research university, not as expensive as London and is set in an amazing city,” she said.
Fulbrights and more
The fact-finding mission also provided insights into what it takes to land selective fellowships like the Rhodes, Marshall, Fulbright and Gates Cambridge. Chapman is already listed as a top Fulbright producer, but Bidmead says she is eager to expand that distinction.
She encourages students to visit her in their freshmen and sophomore years to make sure they are the right track.