Public Comment

The Unreported Consequences of New Trends in Graduate Education

By Richard Thompson
Tuesday August 17, 2010 - 12:11:00 PM

Westwood, a 17-campus system based in Denver, allegedly deceived prospective students by employing admissions representatives whom it puts forth as academic counselors but who are actually hired for their sales skills. At for-profit colleges, nearly two-thirds of borrowers couldn't pay back their student loans. At the University of Phoenix alone, that amounts to $2.8-billion in federal student loan debt that isn't being paid down 

Go to the current UCSD Extension Catalogue instructor profiles: Note that UCSD no longer has stand-alone master's degree programs. Eighty-four percent of UCSD Extension faculty are females with master's degrees, while none of the 47 UCSD Extension so-called Department of English instructors listed has a degree in literature. And only one has a humanities degree of any kind. 

Kaplan Test Prep & Admissions will open its office in Price Center soon. UCSD Extension advertises that Ms. Tara Mcnealy will teach course No. EDUC-3031 Sep. 13-Oct. 22 ($675, 6 academic units): "Participants will examine the fundamental concepts of setting up a college counseling office, while exploring the personal dimensions of working with families." UCSD Extension competes with University of Phoenix whose local billboards remind us that it has more than two score campuses located throughout California.  

UCSD competes with MIT. The drop in the acceptance rate at MIT this year to 10 percent coincides with a 17 percent increase in the total number of applicants, which rose to 15,661 this year. Of the 1,597 students admitted, 48 percent were female. Junior professors at American universities like UCSD and MIT who no longer are assured tenure because of the end of the stimulus program can always transfer to KAUST in Saudia Arabia, an institution which boasts a $10 billion endowment: even graduate students are assured $10,000 yearly. 

China sent 98,510 students -- mostly undergraduates -- to U.S. colleges and universities last year, a 21 percent increase 

Both Tsinghua and Peking universites have now surpassed UC Berkeley in the number of PhD graduates in Engineering. KAUST has already made a deal with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where my older brother worked for a number of years, to jointly undertake research 

Roughly 43 percent of engineering students and 35 percent of business students currently attending Stanford University are from abroad. Will successful foreigners have either tax incentives in their countries-of-origin or cultural dispositions to make gifts to Stanford like those from the founders of HP, Yahoo, and Google? Note the recent announcement that the headquarters of Applied Materials Company is being moved to China. HP, Intel, IBM, Microsoft and many other high-tech companies have developed larger and larger facilities in India, China, South Korea and other Asian countries, assigning more and more of their engineering, biology and computer science to those facilities, whereas attractive jobs in our country are limited to arbitrage, real estate brokerage, Comic-Con, and social networking.