Hooray -- I'm Keeping My Day Job!

"India and China produce thousands of engineers and scientists, but that quantity has been achieved at the expense of quality, report Melinda Liu and Sudip Mazumdar in Newsweek International.

"China graduated 600,000 engineers in 2005, and India produces 500,000 graduates in technical fields annually. Those impressive numbers of technical graduates have led some to predict that India and China will become 'scientific superpowers' over the next few decades. However, scant funding and other problems have undermined the value of their degrees. Employers shun many graduates or conduct their own training. Companies also complain that Indian and Chinese universities tend to emphasize rote learning and conformity over creative thinking.

"'Out of the huge number of engineering and science graduates that India produces, only 25% to 30% can be regarded as suitable,' says Kiran Karnik, head of the National Association of Software and Services Companies, an Indian trade group.

"Funding for top teachers and equipment is barely enough to supply the number of engineers and scientists their rapidly growing economies need. Many professors in India have left for the private sector, which can offer $10,000 a month as opposed to the $400 a month that represents an Indian professor's starting salary. A recurring absence of teachers in classrooms led students at the Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College in West Bengal to protest in the streets in May.

"In China, a program to expand college enrollment in the 1990s led to slipping standards, says Prof. Mao Shoulong of Renmin University. 'Once you get in, it's [too] easy to graduate,' he says. Many Chinese universities support themselves by charging tuition. Despite taking in as many students as can fit in cramped dorm rooms, they can't generate enough cash to pay for high-quality equipment, labs and classrooms."

(From Newsweek International -- August 20, 2007 as cited in "The Informed Reader / Insights and Items of Interest From Other Sources.” Wall Street Journal: August 13, 2007. pg. B.7)

Oh, thank goodness! Now we all can go back to business as ususal. (Don't you just love to read news that you love to read?)

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