Wednesday, January 16, 2002
University of California Office of the President
California Must Expand UC Graduate Enrollments and Increase
UC Commission Concludes
To serve the state's needs by 2010, the University of California
must boost systemwide graduate student enrollment by at least
11,000, a nearly 50 percent increase, and increase support
for individual graduate students, a university commission
California is dead last among the 15 largest states in growth
in graduate enrollments over the last 10 years, the commission
reported, and is one of only five states in which graduate
enrollments declined during the last decade.
The Commission on the Growth and Support of Graduate Education,
appointed by UC Board of Regents Chairman S. Sue Johnson and
UC President Richard C. Atkinson, spent last year examining
unmet needs for graduate education and financial support for
"In a knowledge-based economy where advanced education
is at a premium, the fact that the University of California
is lagging so dramatically in graduate enrollments is an issue
that simply must be addressed," Atkinson said. "If
we hope to maintain the state's supremacy in such fields as
biotechnology and electronics, create new industries not yet
imagined, and solve California's pressing social and environmental
problems, we need a highly educated workforce - and that means
expanded graduate enrollments."
In addition to the need for a well-educated workforce, California's
colleges and universities will need to hire an estimated 40,000
new faculty during the coming decade, to teach the huge increase
in undergraduate students expected to enroll. California's
colleges will depend on graduates from UC's doctoral programs
for many of these faculty, the commission noted.
But commissioners said that to enroll the numbers of graduate
students needed and to recruit the most talented students
to UC, the university will need to increase funding to meet
students' educational and living costs. The commission concludes
that by 2010, UC will need to increase funding for graduate
student support to $215 million annually, about a 50 percent
increase. The bulk of that money is expected from traditional
sources, but there will still exist a $65 million shortfall.
The commission recommended that the university propose to
the state creation of state-funded postsecondary teaching
fellowships for UC and other postsecondary institutions in
California. Doctoral students would receive fellowship stipends
in return for a commitment to provide four years of teaching
service at a public or private postsecondary institution in
California. Funding for graduate student support would also
be sought from federal and private sources, as well as from
The commission also said that UC must review its own practices
in regard to graduate students to ensure that the university's
environment for graduate students is the best in the nation.
Affordable housing, additional programs to enhance faculty-student
and student-student interaction, and improved career planning
and placement are among the priority areas to be addressed.
The commission's six top recommendations on how UC should
expand its graduate programs and increase support for graduate
- Seek an increase in federal support for fellowship stipends
from the current $16,000-18,000 annually to $25,000, and advocate
as well for an additional 1,500 stipends nationwide for graduate
students (increase to UC: $22 million).
- Urge the state to create a program of repayable fellowships
for doctoral students in California universities who, upon
graduation, agree to teach in California higher education
institutions (increase to UC: $20 million).
- Seek state funding for 1,000 "incentive grants"
for students awarded prestigious national fellowships to make
the University of California more competitive in enrolling
them (increase to UC: $10 million).
- Develop a program of collaborative industry-university
internships for graduate students, particularly at the master's
level, integrated with their academic programs (increase to
UC: $8 million).
- Create a University of California graduate fellowships
endowment to raise the funds necessary to provide $5 million
annually for first-year and dissertation-year fellowships,
especially in underfunded disciplines (increased immediate
fundraising with a goal of a $125 million endowment).
- Develop a solid case for more funding for nonresident graduate
students, and then inform state and federal decision-makers
and private donors about the importance of educating graduate
domestic nonresident and graduate international students in
California, proposing to them the funding necessary to accomplish
The 22-member commission was appointed by chairman Johnson
and Atkinson in January 2001. It is co-chaired by Johnson
and UC Provost C. Judson King.
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