A Tale of Two Unis


Yesterday I went to speak at  a lunch bar talk for the Bournemouth Universities CU Mission Week. The CU in Bournemouth is made up of students from the two universities – Bournemouth University and the Arts University. Though right next to each other they are totally separate institutions.

During the morning the students did a survey on each campus asking the same question… the following photos show the responses. I wonder if you can guess which board was from which university? (Click on the photo to see it enlarged)


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The first board was from Bournemouth Uni. Not only did fewer people stop to respond but as you can see, almost everyone who did respond gave one word answers. The second board was at the Arts University. Not only did more people respond but many gave long explanations of what they thought using up all the space on the post it note provided.

This illustrates very clearly what I have sensed before while working with these universities:

  1. Students at New Universities (like Bournemouth Uni) are not so engaged in the classic apologetic questions and are less inclined to think about such philosophical questions or want to come and hear a 20 minute talk about it. In such institutions talks that connect with current affairs and contemporary culture will connect more readily.
  2. Students at Arts universities love to think deeply about life and are very happy to discuss it at length. However, the important thing is this – students at arts universities don’t just think about art! Art, by its very nature, makes you think about all of life. So while a talk about art may not go down well in a university that specialises in the sciences, a talk about science will generate interest at an Arts University.

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