A movie about Admissions in HE? Yes please!

But when will it be released in the UK?

There really just aren’t enough HE related movies about. And even fewer which cover professional services rather than academic or student matters (which are, let’s face it, much more likely to be entertaining). So in the university movie desert which we have been through since ‘Starter for Ten’ imagine the excitement on learning about this new film. About admissions! Starring Tina Fey! What’s not to like?

Admissions is just like this. All the time

Inside Higher Ed delivers the background:

It would be easy for people who really know admissions to focus on elements of “Admission,” the film that opened Friday, that aren’t quite right. In the movie — starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd — Princeton University’s admissions office seems woefully behind the times when it comes to technology, with applicant records kept in folders (orange of course). Admission or rejection is accompanied by a dramatic checking of a box (or in one case where an admissions officer is angry at an applicant’s false claim, stamping the rejection twice on the folder). Princeton’s admissions dean (played by Wallace Shawn) is traumatized by a drop from No. 1 to No. 2 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings (when the only rankings indignity real-life Princeton suffers is being tied for the top spot with Harvard University).

Admissions experts have been buzzing about the movie for months, wondering how their profession would be portrayed by Hollywood — and whether the film would add to the hysteria of many high schoolers and their families about the admissions process.

They also get a couple of Admissions experts to assess the truths and fictions of the film and the overall view is surprisingly positive. It’s just unfortunate that there isn’t a UK release date yet. Don’t understand why -there must be literally dozens of people as keen as me to see it.

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Frightening Stuff: It’s Monsters University

Fictional and daft but really rather impressive

My attention was drawn recently to the Monsters University website. It is of course an entirely fictional construct to promote a new animated movie from Pixar which is a prequel to Monsters Inc from a decade ago.

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Looking through the site it really is a quite good pastiche of the top level of university websites. It covers everything from Admissions to Campus Life and student related policies on employment, keeping pets and international student support. An extract from the University history gives a flavour:

Established in 1313 following a land grant from the city of Monstropolis, Monsters University has grown from a small local center of learning to a leading global institution of higher education. Upon this hallowed ground, some of the most fabled academic buildings in the world have been built, serving the hundreds of thousands of alumni that have walked the halls and grounds of MU.

So, utterly daft but really also rather good. It also helpfully reminds us that our own institutions’ sites might be just a few words away from the cartoon world. My only criticisms would be that the curriculum in the School of Scaring looks a little thin and there is insufficient coverage of Professional Monster Services.