Monday, January 14, 2013

The "Brian Cox Effect" In The UK

I've heard about this from last year where the enrollment in physics degrees in the UK has seen a significant surge, but this one kinda reinforce it.

Manchester University is the first in the country to require students to gain two elite A* grades – alongside an A – at A-level to get onto its physics degrees.

It represents the highest entry threshold for any physics course in Britain, including those run by Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and Imperial College London. It is among only a handful of degrees in any subject nationally to demand two A*s.

Manchester has always been a popular choice for physics but the university admitted that a recent rise in applications had been partially driven by the attraction of Prof Cox, one of the department’s academics and presenter of television series such as Stargazing Live and Wonders of the Universe.
The news report went on to also include the LHC/search for the Higgs as also being partly responsible for the sudden popularity of physics.

I hope this is all good. Like I have said before, physics is too difficult to do for the wrong reasons. I hope that the LHC and Brian Cox are providing inspiration and new pathways that many students just simply didn't think of before, rather than just being enamored by the "celebrity" and "sexy news of the day".


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