The Daily Ablution

asks whether old B-BBC fave Michael Rosen (“the real world isn’t that simple unless you’re George Bush”) and Marie-Noelle Lamy of the Open University are playing out of their league in sneering at Pres. Bush academically.

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9 Responses to The Daily Ablution

  1. lee moore says:

    And if Scott Burgess only knew that even the “University of North London” was just poor old North London Poly, he’d have laughed even louder.

    Just goes to show that rebranding is never wasted.


  2. Ral says:

    What gets me is the irony of being stupid enough to repeat a lie about people claiming Bush is stupid.

    Also it’s the typical xenophobia of the ‘educated’ BBCers from their ex Polys over Ivy League Bush.


  3. john b says:

    The commenters above seem to think that an MBA is in some way academically challenging. This peturbs me…

    To argume from anecdotal evidence about the merits of US/UK undergrad degrees: I know a couple of people who did 4-year courses at (non-Oxbridge, middle-tier) English universities, with one year at a prestigious US institution.

    Both came in the top decile of their (age appropriate, not freshman) class at the American university; both got average 2:1s in the UK.


  4. Ral says:


    You have to be careful not to look at this on a university level and should look at it on a course level. If you compare Oxford Brookes with Oxford University in most courses Oxford wins hands down but in for example history of medicine Brookes is better. Also the position you are in any class is dependent on the other students. Final grades are a mix of all the results throughout the degree course so it is perfectly feasible that it was messing up in other years that led to the 2:1 and the US grades were in line with what they would have got here.

    Anecdotal evidence tends in my experience to miss out the important information and leave what makes the story good or funny.


  5. Rob Read says:

    Off topic but…

    M I C K E Y M O U S E
    M O D U L A R D E G R E (sic)

    was what I used to sing at my Mickey Mouse uni! Apparently Oxford Uni tried to buy the OBU Architecture department; I’m suprised they didn’t sell up as the one thing OBU knew how to do well was make pots of cash.


  6. john b says:

    Ral: all the caveats are true. However, I’ve never met anyone who got -better- grades at a UK university than a US one.

    You’re also spot-on re course types. My MBA comment above needs no further elaboration – meanwhile, what was GWB’s undergrad major? I’m fairly certain it wasn’t philosophy, maths or physics, for example.

    “Home economics with religious studies and geography”?


  7. Scott Burgess says:

    “The commenters above seem to think that an MBA is in some way academically challenging. This peturbs me…”

    ” My MBA comment above needs no further elaboration”

    Appropriate elaboration might be to mention that Bush’s is a *Harvard* MBA, which I suspect *is* rather challenging.

    His Yale degree is in history.


  8. john b says:

    Compared to a GCSE in business studies, yes of course. Compared to a real postgrad degree at Harvard, no.

    (this may be unfair: my knowledge of MBAs vs real postgrad degrees at top universities is based on Oxford and LSE – it’s possible that unlike these two, Harvard’s MBA programme is genuinely taxing).


  9. Ral says:


    I’ve found that the style, structure, and content of a course can effect how well people do in it as can their previous education.

    In a system aimed like the one in the US to a broader subject base unlike the one we had (and mostly still have in the UK) that’s limited to 3 or 4 subjects after 16, and one at uni you find that the general level is lower over all. This is not due to the quality of the teaching or students but just that they have less time on each subject.

    I also know that a 2:1 at say York or Bristol is in my opinion worth a first at Wolverhampton or Thames Valley. I’ve marked essays from ex Polys and some of them aren’t even A level quality let alone degree level. If things can be that different in England then that could be magnified a lot more abroad.

    The real issue we are on is is Bush thick?

    In my opinion no.

    The ability to speech properly, not say silly things, and set the video clock does not determine how clever you are.