Open Eye: First Thursday - Welcome to the world's top one per cent

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The Independent Online
We're all familiar with the statistic about how, in my day, only three per cent of school leavers went to university, and now it's 30%. I was told the other day that the figure is now 40%, and I don't believe that, either.

Maybe 30 or 40% of sixth-formers, perhaps, but then - and I am writing as a fifth-form leaver - what else was the point of sixth form, if it wasn't waiting for and preparing for university? And in that case, isn't 30-40% a bit on the low side?

My friend Doug Dibbert, who is President of North Carolina University's Alumni Association and chairs the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) put it all in perspective the other day.

He proposed shrinking the earth's population to a village of 100 people, but preserving all the exisiting ratios.

Since CASE also stands for Copy And Steal Everything, I cheerfully share the results with you.

According to Doug's statistics, the global village would consist of 57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 north or south Americans, and 8 Africans. Seventy would be non-white, and a similar number non-Christian.

Half the wealth would be in the hands of six people - all of them US citizens. Only 30 would be able to read, half would suffer from malnutrition, and 80 would live in sub-standard housing.

And only one person would have a university education.

How many people reading this, I wonder, appreciate that - in terms of education - they are in the top one per cent of the world's population?

It is, clearly, all a matter of degree.

Anything they can do...

I don't know of a collective noun for Alumni Directors (and I am not sure I would welcome suggestions, thank you) but the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has been asking for ideas for an alumni association slogan.

Suggestions from other alumni organisations - some of which are already in use - included:

Graduation is just the beginning

New Haven

Share the Pride Hawaii

Truth, Knowledge and a Great Tan!


Get Connected - Stay Connected Kent State

Once a Student, Always an Alum

Illinois State

Where the Past Meets the Present to Build a Brighter Future

Cal State - LA

Pride in the Past, Faith in the Future


The Model Urban Institution of Inclusion NY - Brooklyn

Bringing Georgetown to You


Students for a short time - alumni for a lifetime New Mexico Highlands

Rekindle the Past - Celebrate the Present - Preserve the Future.

(Nobody admitted to the authorship of this one)

Well, no, I said to the director who enquired. The OU alumni don't actually have a slogan.

But if we did, I'm certain we would come up with something far better than any of those.

It's the usual address.