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A major study released Monday by the University of California suggests that high school grades may be good at predicting not only first-year college performance, as commonly believed, but performance throughout four undergraduate years. The same study suggests that the SAT adds little predictive value to admissions decisions and is hindered by a high link between SAT scores and socioeconomic status — a link not present for high school grades.

And further, the study finds that all of the information admissions officers currently have is of limited value, and accounts for only 30 percent of the grade variance in colleges — leaving 70 percent of the variance unexplained.

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The report is available online at University of Berkeley:

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More than three decades after San Diego State took the first steps toward discovering solutions to today’s problems, from cancer and global warming to bioterrorist hazards, it has been named the top small research university in the nation.
A new index released by Academic Analytics, a for-profit corporation in Stony Brook, N.Y., places SDSU above 60 institutions including the College of William and Mary, Indiana State University and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The ranking system was based on faculty productivity, which includes publications, citations in scholarly journals, research grants and honorary awards.
SDSU, California State University’s flagship research campus, has about 800 ongoing studies at any given time focused on everything from analyzing local water quality to salvaging the heart muscle after a heart attack. Other university research includes the development of ultrasensitive laser detection methods for uncovering diseases earlier and finding ways to decrease smoking, drug use and obesity in the local Hispanic community.
The SDSU Research Foundation, an auxiliary that manages the finances supporting this research, generates more than $100 million annually in grants and contracts – equivalent to half the amount of funding SDSU receives from the state.
Tom Scott, vice president for research and interim chief executive officer of SDSU’s research foundation, said the ranking helps solidify the university’s reputation as a research hub.
“We’re not at the plane that Stanford and Berkeley are at. We’re not stealing their faculty. But we’re at the plane that would be equal to the flagship universities of most states, like the University of Missouri or the University of Kansas,” he said.
Eric Frost, co-director of the SDSU Visualization Center and the university’s homeland security master’s program, has done enormous amounts of research involving the use of technology for humanitarian purposes.
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Less than 3% students, mostly belonging to middle income families in India avail of education loans against
85% in UK,
77% US and
70% in Germany and France,
according to the Study by ASSOCHAM.

The study highlights, that though there are many schemes for providing financial aid to poor students, the amount given is awfully low and procedure to get are very cumbersome and that is why the percentage for education loan seekers is extremely low.

According to Study, US spends nearly $ USD 80 billion on higher education annually mostly in the form of students aid, India has allocated about $ 3.5 million USD for its flagship merit-cum-means scholarship schemes.

The study also says that:
the number of engineering graduates in India is 3,50,000 annually,
compared to 70,000 engineering graduates in US
and 100,000 engineering graduates in Europe.
India also produces 60,000 MBAs every year.
Engineering colleges in the country have been growing at 2% a year while business schools have grown at 60% annually.
With 348 universities and over 17,973 colleges spread across the country.
In the year 2005, more than 2 million graduates were added that included 25,000 doctors and 6 lakhs science graduates and postgraudates.

The scenario was almost similar in 2006 also but the number of students that sought loan from various financial institutions, their percentage was less than 3%.

The study also highlights that Singapore and Malaysia attracts high quality higher education institutions from many advanced countries which augment their domestic capacity of quality higher education serving their own citizens. Singapore and Malaysia have the presence of about 1 lakh foreign students against 1,40,000 foreign students in China. The number of foreign students is continue to be in the range of less than 20,000.

The Study has projected that by 2012, India will contribute an additional 44 million to the global labour pool. During this time, the US workforce will expand by 10 million.

The ASSOCHAM Study also claims that higher education in India has expanded rapidly over the past 2 decades. This growth has been primarily driven by the private sector initiative. Public expenditure on higher education is not even 0.5% of the GNP (Gross National Produce) and it has been falling in recent year.

The study suggests that education needs additional investment of nearly Rs. 1 lakh crore to Rs.1,20,000 crore against present investment of Rs. 91,000 crore per year. The new education cess will hardly generate Rs.3,500 crore per annum and the total amount of cess collected by the government would be in the range of about 10,500 crore. This includes the cess amount of 7000 crore per annum @ 2% imposed couple of years ago. A 1% additional cess was imposed in the Finance Act of 2006-07.

The amount collected through cess as per findings of Study should be utilised for spread of primary and partly secondary education and there should be specific guidelines issued to all financial institutions including banking mechanism to liberally extend education loans to meritorious candidates particularly in the professional category.

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Excerpts from a letter written in Chicago Tribune

I applaud the measures that the administration took to ensure that every graduate had the opportunity to hear his or her name called over the microphone.

And I wanted to add that graduating high school is not the same as it once was.

Yes, the ceremony, the pomp and circumstance, the party at the house, etc., are all things that graduating seniors enjoy upon completing four tumultuous years of secondary school, yet we tend to emphasize this event way too much.

Americans look to high school graduation as the end of our educational journey, yet with manufacturing jobs being outsourced to other countries, securing a job without even some college is becoming more and more impossible.

So in an age when countries such as Sweden and Germany are blowing us out of the water in regard to science and math, why do we put so much emphasis on an old rite of passage?

I understand that college is not for everyone, but then there are trade schools and even technology schools that are set up to help the non-mainstream, college-bound student.

With the number of college-bound students increasing every year, and with financial aid becoming more readily available, there is a way to go to college, no matter who you are or where you come from.

Don’t blame graduate

I don’t believe that it is the graduates’ fault that their friends and families failed to obey the rules.

You cannot control the audience.

What the school should do is put the rude people out.

Before the commencement exercise begins, the school should announce that if anyone is rude, he or she will be escorted out of the graduation.

When that person does what he or she wants, then put the person out, no questions asked.

Don’t punish the person who has waited and worked hard all those years to get what is rightfully his or hers.

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After years of lobbying on the part of international education leaders, the Department of State posted a proposed change to its J-1 exchange visitor regulations Tuesday that would create a new subcategory specifically for student interns.

“The question is, what happens if a student who is enrolled in a foreign institution of higher education wants to pursue an internship at a U.S. institution of higher education or an affiliated organization like a research institute as part of their studies,” said Victor C. Johnson, associate executive director for public policy at NAFSA: Association of International Educators, which has advocated for such a change for six or seven years now.

“At the current time, it’s not that it’s impossible to do that, but there’s no category in the regulations that applies to those people. So they’ve had to be shoehorned in under other regulatory categories that weren’t created to apply to interns.”

Under the proposed change, foreign students enrolled in accredited postsecondary institutions outside of the United States, or graduates who have completed a program of study within 12 months of starting an exchange, would be eligible to participate in one year-long internship program per degree level. Potential international interns must be able to describe how the internship — which can be paid or unpaid — would enhance their educational programs in their home institutions. The regulations prohibit sponsoring institutions from placing interns in unskilled or casual labor positions, or in those that involve aviation, child or elder care, and patient care or contact (including dentistry, early childhood education, nursing, psychological counseling, social work, speech therapy, sports or physical therapy, and veterinary medicine).

Several international educators said they were still reviewing the proposed rules Tuesday. But overall they were pleased to see that a proposal — long delayed after September 11, Johnson said — was finally in play. “[I]n general this is an extremely positive and significant addition to the college and university student category of the J1 exchange visitor program,” Ann Kuhlman, director of Yale University’s Office of International Students and Scholars, said via e-mail Tuesday. “U.S. institutions of higher education have suggested this addition for the past few years — as we began to see an increase in requests from students, particularly from Europe and Asia, who were seeking internships in their fields at U.S. colleges and universities.”

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Three years ago, William Sheane turned down a place at King’s College London to study maths and management. Instead, Sheane, originally from Oxford, “threw in” an application to the University of Sydney. “I was over the UK student lifestyle of getting smashed,” he says. “I’d spent five years working in bars, beaches and diving centres. I thought it was a really good opportunity to go abroad, keep doing what I wanted, but also have a more serious side to my life. I thought I’d see what happened.”

Now, at 26, with a degree in economics behind him and an honours degree – equivalent to a year of research and a thesis – on the way, he has no regrets. At least, none that come to mind as he walks to class after a quick surf, something he does almost every day.

Natasha Krichefski, 22, from London, is spending a year at the University of New South Wales as part of her Edinburgh University undergraduate music degree. “A masters out here has great appeal,” she says. “I’m seriously considering music therapy at the University of Western Sydney, although an equivalent course is also offered in London.”

In the first semester of 2006, there were 1,801 UK students like Sheane and Krichefski on undergraduate, postgraduate or exchange programmes in Australian universities. This is peanuts compared with the numbers of students from China (40,292), Malaysia (24,952) and Singapore (20,714). But Australian universities are paying more attention than might be expected to their UK student numbers.

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University of Wisconsin-Madison has long been an attractive target for elite schools like Harvard and Stanford looking for top academics. But now other public universities are among the faculty poachers, and school administrators are worried.

Dozens of professors have left in the past two years, and Chancellor John Wiley said a growing number are going to schools that traditionally could not compete with the state’s flagship university. More than 115 professors reported receiving outside offers last year, the most in 20 years and more than double the number from five years ago.

Administrators at Wisconsin, traditionally ranked among the nation’s top public schools, say some departments are in crisis because of the losses. They worry about the school’s quality and ability to draw research dollars.

Faculty say the departures accelerated as professors’ salaries hit rock bottom among their peers and morale sagged amid state-imposed budget cuts.

In response, lawmakers are expected to consider Gov. Jim Doyle’s plan on Tuesday to create a $10 million fund to retain faculty at Madison and other campuses in the UW system. UW-Madison is lobbying hard for the plan.Read the Article—-

Related Article
University of Wisconsin-Madison has long been an attractive target for elite schools like Harvard and Stanford looking for top academics. But now other public universities are among the faculty poachers, and school administrators are worried.

Dozens of professors have left in the past two years, and Chancellor John Wiley said a growing number are going to schools that traditionally could not compete with the state’s flagship university. More than 115 professors reported receiving outside offers last year, the most in 20 years and more than double the number from five years Article At—-

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Bloomberg News

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest charitable fund, gave $105 million to create a health-research institute at the University of Washington.

The institute will conduct evaluations of health programs worldwide, the Seattle-based Gates Foundation said today in a statement on its Web site. The university’s main campus is also in Seattle.

The new Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation will collect and analyze data on health trends, conduct evaluations of individual health programs’ effectiveness and make the data available to policymakers, researchers and the public. The institute will also offer fellowships to train junior researchers.

“Health policy must be based on evidence, not speculation,” said Tachi Yamada, the president of the Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program. “With high-quality data, we can ensure resources go where they are needed most, and dramatically improve health care delivery.”

The donation is the largest private gift in the school’s history, Mark Emmert, the president of the university, said in the statement. The university, which has established a Department of Global Health, will contribute an additional $20 million to the project, Gates officials said.

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The University of Illinois said it has received a gift commitment of $100 million from the founder of software maker Siebel Systems, the Chicago Tribune reported on Saturday.

The university said that graduate Thomas Siebel, 54, will write into his will a $100 million gift for the science and engineering programs on the Urbana-Champaign campus, but the university expects to begin using the money during his lifetime, the paper reported.

Siebel’s gift was announced Friday night at an event to begin the school’s $2.25 billion fund-raising campaign, according to the paper. It came days after the University of Chicago announced an anonymous donation of the same size to be used for scholarships for low- and moderate-income students.

Siebel told the paper he plans to set up a task force with faculty and administrators to decide how to best use the money, including possibly new buildings, endowed professorships, research and public policy programs.

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With assessment and accountability at the center of policy discussions in Washington and elsewhere, international educators emphasized an increased need for research on measurable study abroad outcomes and what particular program characteristics cause student learning gains at several sessions during this week’s annual NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference in Minneapolis.
“It is no longer a fringe activity,” with more than 200,000 American college students going abroad each year and new federal funding initiatives for international study, Richard C. Sutton, senior advisor for academic affairs and director of international programs for the University System of Georgia Board of Regents said Wednesday afternoon. “But that money will not be free. It will come at the price of accountability and assessment measures.”
In a session on “Changes That Occur Abroad,” Sutton highlighted Georgia’s systemwide research of study abroad outcomes, the Georgia Learning Outcomes of Students Studying Abroad Research Initiative (or GLOSSARI). The ambitious six-phase, six-year-old project covers a lot of ground, including:
1.Comparing learning outcomes of study abroad participants with those of their peers who stay stateside.
2.Tracking learning outcomes of study abroad participants by administering pre- and post-tests.
3.Comparing the experiences and learning of students taking a particular course abroad versus those taking that same course at home.
4.Performing a statistical analysis on graduation and persistence rates relative to study abroad participation.
5.Identifying and conducting case studies on study abroad programs that produce strong results in student learning.

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