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Synthesis 2013

Dartmouth Strategic Planning



GMAC Introduces ‘Soft Skills’ Test, but Not for Admissions

The group behind the GMAT, or Graduate Management Admission Test, are introducing a new test designed to measure students’ personality-related skills, such as resilience, drive, and collaboration. The Graduate Management Admission Council expects that the $99, 45-minute test will be used by employers to gauge the “soft skills” of student applicants. GMAC does not intend, however, for the test to be used as an admissions tool by graduate schools. “GMAC Introduces 'Soft Skills' Test, but Not for Admissions.” Inside Higher Ed, 20 Feb. 2013. Read article »

New Data on Global Competition for Ph.D. Talent

“A new paper based on survey data from scientists in 16 countries compares the relative strengths of the United States and other countries in attracting top Ph.D. talent. For obtaining a Ph.D. and selecting a postdoc, American universities continue to be highly regarded and benefit from the prestige of their academic programs and a perception that an American Ph.D. will help the careers of non-American scientist, the study found. But the survey found that Australia, Germany and Switzerland have made gains in recent years, relative to the U.S., in attracting Ph.D. students.” “New Data on Global Competition for Ph.D. Talent.” Inside Higher Ed, 18 Feb. 2013. Read article »

New Cornell Technology School Tightly Bound to Business

Cornell NYC Tech is a new graduate school of applied science designed to “cultivate entrepreneurial technologists” by melding commerce with education. Its temporary campus in the middle of Google’s $2 billion dollar New York headquarters will accommodate students until a much larger permanent campus is built on Roosevelt Island, where classrooms and office buildings will stand side-by-side. Some are skeptical about the university’s entrance into “for-profit science” and warn of the potential for conflicts of interest among faculty. Kaminer, Ariel. “New Cornell Technology School Tightly Bound to Business.” The New York Times, 21 Jan. 2013. Read article »

Britain’s qualification spiral is beginning to unravel

British education correspondent Peter Wilby comments on the recent announcement by the UK’s skills minister that non-graduates of master’s-level programs will be able to qualify for professions in law, engineering, and other fields by completing apprenticeships. Wilby supports the measure and asks, “Why do we cram so much education into the first third of the average lifespan, and offer so little of it in the remaining two thirds?” He suggests that education has deepened class divisions in the UK, because professionals are now required to have an unprecedented level of educational experience, with few experiential qualifications to back it up. In this way, Wilby says, higher education in the UK has acted as a barrier to social mobility. Wilby, Peter. “Britain's qualification spiral is beginning to unravel.” The Guardian, 7 Jan. 2013. Read article »

Harvard Law offering first free online course

“How does a free law class taught by Harvard faculty sound? Harvard Law School is accepting applications for its first online course via edX. The 12-week copyright course begins on January 28 and will be open to 500 students. ” “The course is not a MOOC, or massive open online course, in which hundreds or thousands of students complete an online course largely on their own. Instead, the edX copyright course is intended to mimic a traditional Harvard law class.” Sloan, Karen. “Harvard Law offering first free online course.” The National Law Journal, 27 Dec. 2012. Read article »

Benefits of Multinational Labs

“Science and engineering departments with doctoral students from several different countries tend to produce more publications and to get more citations, a new study has found.” “If a department had 10 foreign students from five different global regions, it would on average produce 0.76 more publications and win 28.65 more citations a year than one where the international students hailed from just two regions, the research found.” Matthews, David. “Benefits of Multinational Labs.” Inside Higher Ed, 14 Dec. 2012. Read article »

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We want to scour the world to try to find those things that strike us as truly forward-looking. President Jim Yong Kim