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funded by education/training grants, and facilitate the development of a national database for better career decision-making.

Contemporary Issues. Finally, the national discussion could examine current issues on which opinions diverge across the sectors, including the difficult issues—time to first job and sources of new students—discussed in Chapter 4.

5.5 CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the committee believes that science and engineering graduate programs will be improved if

· Science and engineering programs are made more flexible and provide more options for students so that they are more versatile.

· Graduate-student support is shifted to education/training grants.

· Time to degree is controlled.

· More women and minority-group members are attracted to them.

· Better and more-timely career information and guidance are provided while diversity and excellence in research are maintained.

How can reforms like this work in a system as decentralized as graduate education? The committee feels that there is one especially good way: for the major participants—universities, government, industry, and foundations—to come together to discuss these issues. Although some major universities have been slow to consider reforms, there has in fact been tremendous innovation, and our specific recommendations for institutional change are being implemented somewhere. This should be better known. The committee feels strongly that having a national dialogue could strengthen an educational process that must change at least as fast as the world around it.



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