Wednesday, October 29, 2003

British exchange program canceled

By Jon Gambrell
Enquirer contributor

OXFORD - Miami University's invitation to send students to study at King's College in Cambridge has been ripped up, after the program became a controversy in England.

Miami's Cambridge Program has sent students to England for roughly seven years. The program gave eight students an opportunity to study in Cambridge's famous tutorial system, in which students worked in weekly one-on-one sessions with professors for a semester.

Tim Melley, an associate professor of English and Cambridge Study Aboard Program Coordinator at Miami, said Cambridge's Selwyn College had ended its agreement with Miami in the midst of a housing shortage brought on by remodeling at the college. After a search, King's College ended up writing a proposal to begin an exchange program with Miami.

The agreement involved sending 12 Miami students to Cambridge for a full year. King's College, which is facing a roughly $2 million budget deficit, wanted to rent out more student housing it had, Melley said.

However, with current concerns about privatization in England, local student newspaper Varsity published an article suggesting Miami students would be pushing King's College applicants out. The Times of London and several other English papers picked up the story, and in the end, the faculty council voted down the agreement Oct. 22

"We were totally stunned," Melley said. "It is almost surreal to me. King's College was simply accommodating 12 of our students."

As of now, the Cambridge Study Abroad program as at a standstill. While the program hadn't begun accepting applications, Melley said many were looking forward to the new partnership with King's College.


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