Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ivy League

"The Ivy League is an athletic conference comprising eight private institutions of higher education located in the North-eastern United States. The term has connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and a reputation for social elitism".
The name of the Ivy League finds his origin in the
ivy plants that cover many of these institutions' historic buildings. The Ivy League universities are also called the "Ancient Eight" or simply the Ivies. The term was used for the first time by a sports-writer in 1933.
The Ivy League is thus composed by eight universities. These are: Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania and Yale University. Those are most prestigious schools whose criteria’s of excellence are recognised all over the world.
The reputation of the Ivy is particularly predominant in the sport field. It began with the organisation of intercollegiate competitions between the different universities. Now all eight ivy schools are among the “top 20” of Division I national athletics (NCAA) in various men’s and women’s sports such as football, soccer, swimming, track and field, rowing, fencing, squash, basketball, hockey, etc. Athletics is even part of the educational programme of the students in the Ivy schools. Nevertheless sport is not the only preoccupation of the Ivy, rigorous academic standards, the nation's highest four-year graduation rates are also from huge interest for these institutions.
These institutions are thus among the best ones of the States. Seven of the eight schools were founded during America's colonial period; the execption is Cornell, which was founded in 1865. Ivy League institutions, therefore, account for seven of the nine colleges chartered before the American Revolution.
The long history of the Ivies forms part of their fame. They are very famous universities and it's often considered as an honour to study in one of them. As a result, the Ivy league has a reputation for social elitism. The Ivy League was specifically associated with the WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) establishment and phrases such as “Ivy League snobbery” are often found in writings as a sort of criticism about the Ivy Leaguers who have even developed their own clothing style. Be that as it may, the Ivy League institutions are prestigious universities and an Erasmus stay (or more) in one of these institutions would delight more than one student of the English language.

Anaïs and Céline

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