Thursday, January 6, 2011

Israel IQ at UCLA: dumb, dumber, dumbest

Universities are big business. Because they have budgets, they need to maintain revenue. So they need to be attractive to prospective students. And to offer students prestige degrees. Thus if you google ‘university rankings 2010’ you’ll find many websites offering lists of universities worldwide, ranked by various individual and composite criteria [1]. Methodology’s important, of course, as is impartiality. But on most of the lists ranking hundreds of universities, UCLA (i.e. University of California Los Angeles) is between number 35 [2] and number 11 [3]. So it’s pretty well up there. Which makes this 4½-minute video [4] even the more remarkable. It’s produced by StandWithUs – a Los Angeles-based international education organisation aiming to ensure Israel’s side of the Middle East conflict’s heard [5, 6]. Even bearing this in mind, the responses of the UCLA students in the video are amazing. They beggar belief. Even if these students aren’t representative of UCLA students as a whole; even if the students filmed were the only ones who gave wrong answers; and even if they gave many correct answers as well as the wrong ones shown – the video’s still amazing. Keep an eye on the young woman student in the black V-neck top. And note her intended future career vis-à-vis her answers. Oh deary me. I despair. Ho hum.

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