UK/US cultural and educational alliances are strong, say Millennials and Gen Z in the UK and US

The United Kingdom and United States share a common history, language, legal system, and a generally positive relationship that serve as the basis for strong academic and cultural ties. Despite the challenges presented by a worldwide COVID pandemic, UK/US partnerships in education and the arts provide an avenue for maintaining and strengthening the ties of the “special relationship.”

As US President Joe Biden prepares to visit the UK to attend the G7 Conference in June 2021, his first trip overseas since his election last year, White House officials said, “This trip will highlight his commitment to restoring our alliances, revitalizing the transatlantic relationship, and working in close cooperation with our allies and multilateral partners…"

And despite recent challenges, a December 2019 survey of Gen Z and Millennials in the UK and US that explored perceptions of the strength of alliances between the UK and US revealed that Gen Z and Millennials in the UK and the US are likely to share the view that alliances between the UK and US are strong in two key areas.

When rating the strength of the cultural alliance between the UK and US, 74 per cent in the US consider it to be strong, as do 66 per cent in the UK.

  • Notably, one-in-four people in the UK and US think the UK is a world leader as a cultural influence in arts, music, and fashion.
  • Men in the UK are far more inclined than women to rate the UK/US cultural alliance as “extremely” or “very” strong (42 per cent vs 28 per cent, respectively). The same gender divide is also true is the US where 48 per cent of men vs 32 per cent of women think the two nations have a “extremely” or “very” strong cultural alliance.

Seven-in-10 Americans (70 per cent) also consider alliances between UK and US educational institutions to be strong compared to two-thirds in the UK (66 per cent).

  • Among Gen Z and Millennial Americans with post-graduate degrees, 57 per cent rate alliances between UK and US educational institutions as “extremely” or “very” strong vs 42 per cent in the UK with tertiary or higher degrees.
  • One-third of Americans (34 per cent) view the US as a world leader in both “scientific research” and “technological advancements,” while fewer in the UK, approximately one-in-five, consider the US a leader in the areas of science and technology.


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