From the U.S. to the U.K.


After teaching for three years in a tenure-track position in English at an American liberal-arts college, I've recently moved to the United Kingdom and started a position as a lecturer (the equivalent of an assistant professor) at a British university. Would anyone like to exchange thoughts or suggestions on the differences between working in American and in British academe? If any British readers of this column have questions about working in the American university system, I'd also be happy to offer advice, if I can.

I did my B.A. at Durham University and my Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (in sociology).

At British universities you will find the following:

Much more respect for tutorials and essays rather than multiple-choice quizzes.
Students with a more mature attitude. People are less grade conscious.
Less money. Even photocopying is a privilege.
More crusty elitism; British universities are not as open as their American counterparts.
More theory, less empiricism.

Read some David Lodge novels before you go! They're fun and insightful.


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