Is there a differnce between being a regular uni and a national research uni?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by 63dot, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #1
    My school, who I otherwise like, recently made a bid to up their stock in the education world, and now they are a national research university. Now over 70% percent of the student body go for their master's and doctorates.

    Before this change, they were a regional university like my undergrad institutions, like my old Cal State university or California junior college. The primary focus there was undergraduate programs and practical education.

    But with the research university status, they upped the degree requirements for my program by 33% percent. At $2100 a 3 unit class, this is a huge financial burden. I am not happy, nor do I understand why they did this. I took some time off from grad school and when I came back, it went from 36 units to 48 units. (formerly 4 prereqs, 4 electives, 4 core; but now 6 prereqs, 4 electives, and 6 core)

    Has this happened to any of you? comments?
     
  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #2
    I think if you are a current student, you should pay the same rates you did when you first began your degree. That's what happens at my uni. The rates have gone up over the years at my uni, but the amount I owe has not.
     
  3. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #3
    That would be great, as I can much more afford $1400 per class for the ten remaining classes instead of $2100+ per class. On a Federal student loan, the former is much more do-able with how interest is on these things. Too many students take out $30K-$50K thinking it will be easy to pay off quickly and though many have the intent to pay off their loans quickly, very few do in real life. It's the type of people who pay off their credit card balance every month early which are the type of people who pay off their student loans early. I am not one of those and they only people I know who have done so are only stories I have heard of people doing that, but nobody in person.

    I think this recession is going to breed a whole new set of college bound students and grads who go for the trades and avoid costly student loans knowing this recession may last another decade if things go very badly for the economy.
     
  4. Aea macrumors 6502a

    Aea

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    #4
    Lucky you, I went into a University that had Tuition of roughly $34,000 a year, and it rose 5% year after year. I quickly switched to another school after my first year after realizing that I wasn't getting a good education, nor was the price even with $18,000 in Scholarships worth it.
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #5
    Sorry if I took the thread off-track.

    To stay on topic, I think a national research uni, or any university that considers themselves research oriented, has a greater number of post-graduate students than regular unis. The thing about university is that they're a business, and research tends to earn them money from the government for their successful research, which may be determined by the number of publications in professional journals, perhaps the number/percentage of successful grant applications they get from the government, or from private groups who have an interest in a particular area of research (e.g. breast cancer related research, economic research) and want to fund your university's research in exchange of having their general acknowledgement in your publications, news articles, Powerpoint presentations, their own advertising, etc. Being teh hotness™ in the research field may also increase the number of businesses that may use your university for private consulting (e.g: the law department), since universities tend to have their pulse on all the latest news and updates.


    Anyway, professors are hired for their research and work (which pays little to nothing), not on lecturing. That's just something they have to do to get paid. Basically, professors are hired for their research, and fired if they don't achieve anything. However, their salary comes from lecturing. Otherwise, they couldn't conduct research, as research doesn't technically generate a salary for them.

    If your uni is focusing its resources at becoming more research oriented, perhaps the proportion of undergraduate students at the university will decrease, which means the number of students who pay tuition will also decrease. Many post-grads, particularly Ph.D students, either pay no tuition at all, or they need to pay a tuition (e.g. $15000 USD per year (I picked an arbitrary number)), but get paid a scholarship/stipend for their work (e.g. $20000 USD per year). The university doesn't really get paid (tuition) by taking a PhD. student, but benefit financially because a Ph.D or Masters student is really just a cheap employee who will do your research for a low salary in exchange for a degree. ;)

    Still, to pay professors, they need tuition, and have probably hiked their fees because they intend on taking fewer undergrads.


    EDIT TO ADD: There's also a chance that by becoming a research-focused university, they have decided to hire better, higher profile professors who demand a higher pay. To lure $200,000 business/law/maths/music people to teach business/law/maths/music courses at a university, they need to pay them an amount that doesn't look pitiful when compared to what they used to earn when they were working in their field. ;)
     
  6. Macaddicttt macrumors 6502a

    Macaddicttt

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    #6
    I find it hard to believe that the increase in requirements would apply to students in the middle of the program. I can believe cost increases, but usually when class requirements change, they only apply to new students.
     
  7. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #7
    took time off

    dot.com happened right around the sf school
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #8
    Ahhh, I was going to ask about this also. If you took that much time off, it's understandable that they were no longer offering you the old program requirements. It's pro forma to have some kind of closed window for that. But with such a long absence... I think it's reasonable to admit that to them, you were basically gone forever and not likely to come back, making offering you the old graduation requirements something like offering leaded gasoline. :p

    Seriously, though, every university has a responsibility to position themselves appropriately for growth and sustainability. It's a gambit for them -- the most prominent argument against what they're doing is asking whether the US really needs another "national research" university, or whether anyone will particularly respect them as such just because they decided to grow in this direction. If they can push themselves into the Doctoral University / High Research Activity Carnegie classification (or anywhere in the space that used to be called Research I institutions), then they'll probably gain that kind of esteem by and by... but considering how few schools there are at this level (I think there are some 200 altogether in the high and very high research activity categories, roughly evenly split -- source), well... anyway.

    Beyond that, they are forsaking a niche that they previously occupied and in which there is presumably still need. For some people, research prestige need not be tied to their masters or doctorate in order for the degree to be valuable.

    I take it, on the other hand, that transferring to another more regional school is not feasible for you?
     
  9. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #9
    At this point and age, I don't really care that much. State University is just fine with me since I am my own boss.
     

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