US: Future of graduate education
A 19-member commission of American corporate and university leaders has been formed to study how American graduate schools can best meet the challenges of the 21st century. The commission will focus on maintaining the pre-eminence of the schools in the face of rising global competition.
The commission wants to achieve a greater understanding of the political, demographic, socioeconomic, educational and financial trends that affect participation in graduate education.
"President Obama has called upon Americans to become involved in addressing the pressing challenges facing the United States," commission Chair William Russel, Dean of the Graduate School at Princeton University, said.
"The responsibility for that lies in large part with our nation's graduate schools. When completed, the commission's report will assess the present condition of graduate education, chart a course for the future, and create a national conversation on the benefits of increasing pursuit and completion of graduate degrees by all segments of the US population."
Suzanne Ortega, commission Vice-chair and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs at the University of New Mexico, said the assumption underlying the study was that American competitiveness in the global economy hinged fundamentally on its capacity to produce appropriate numbers of graduate degree holders at the masters and doctoral levels.
The commission plans to examine projections for degree recipients from domestic and international talent pools to tackle US competitiveness. Other topics will include graduate pathways, demographic changes in the next 20 years, workforce needs projections, international competition and efforts of universities to increase graduate participation.
The commission will release its report on the status of graduate education at the council's annual conference in April next year.
Members of the commission include senior corporate executives from Du Pont, IBM and Xerox while the 13 university representatives include UCLA chancellor Gene Block, Jackson State University president Ronald Mason, dean of the graduate school at Virginia Tech Karen DePauw, and dean of graduate studies at UCLA, Davis, Jeffrey Gibeling.
The non-profit Educational Testing Service offers assessments based on research and serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing solutions for teacher certification, English-language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies.
Founded in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually - including the GRE, TOEFL and TOEIC tests, and The Praxis Series assessments in more than 180 countries, at 9,000 locations worldwide.
The Council of Graduate Schools is an organisation of 500 institutions of higher education in the US and Canada engaged in graduate education, research, and the preparation of candidates for advanced degrees. CGS members award 95% of the doctoral degrees and 84% of the master's degrees.