Reality TV enters Academia

A cross between ‘University Challenge’ and ‘The Apprentice’. That’s how The Times describes a new TV show in India: Scholar Hunt – Destination UK. In the show, students will compete for full scholarhips to the universities of Leeds, Warwick, Cardiff, Sheffield and Middlesex. They will follow the students going through the exams, interviews and other tests for the scholarships. Each of the British universities will award one scholarship for a 3 year degree worth 45000 Pounds.

Arun Thapar, the show’s producer and presenter:

“It’s survival of the fittest, but hopefully this will provide someone with a life-changing opportunity. “We’ll be doing things that will be very engaging. The drama — the laughter and the tears — will be a key part of it.”

Mr Thapar also added that the universities would choose the questions and would not compromise their usual admission standards. The show, which will begin transmitting in India in July, combines the Indian craze for studying overseas with the growing popularity of reality TV. It also reflects the ambitions of British universities to recruit more Indian students in the face of cheaper competition from other Western countries.
According to The Times, NDTV is expecting tens of thousands of students to apply when registration starts via an online test on their website later this month. The top 2,000 applicants will then be filmed sitting exams and the top 200 will be interviewed on camera by a panel including university representatives. The top 100 will enter a studio quiz to select the 20 finalists. Finally, a second studio quiz will choose the five winners.

I tried to have a look at their website. But…it didn’t work. Too popular perhaps?

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