College Degrees are Still Worth the Investment

With unemployment hovering at 9 percent and college costs outpacing inflation, there is growing doubt about whether a college degree is worth the investment. Yet studies show that over the long term, college graduates fare better than high school graduates in many facets of life, ranging from career satisfaction to parenting skills.

The most commonly cited advantage of attending college is its impact on income. For 2008, the median salary of bachelor’s degree recipients working full-time year-round was $55,700, compared with $33,800 for a high school graduate, according to Education Pays 2010, a new report released by the College Board, the nonprofit association that administers the SAT.

Over the course of a 30-year career, college graduates earn about $400,000 more than high school graduates, according to a study conducted by PayScale for Bloomberg Businessweek. Yet beyond earnings, college graduates also have higher job satisfaction. The College Board report shows that about 58 percent of college graduates and individuals with some college education were very satisfied with their jobs, compared with 50 percent of high school graduates.

“People have to keep in mind that a college degree should be looked at as an investment rather than an expense,” says John Rooney, co-author of Preparing for College: Practical Advice for Students and Their Families (Ferguson Publishing, 2010). “An automobile is an expense. It depreciates over time. A college degree is an investment. It pays off over time.”

In the labor market, college graduates have higher success in finding jobs and staying employed than high school graduates. In January 2011, the unemployment rate for individuals with a bachelor’s degree was 4.2 percent, while for high school graduates it was 9.4 percent, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report.

“The market is really getting tough,” says Steve Langerud, director of professional opportunities at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind. “Attorneys are competing with people with bachelor’s degrees. The pool is a lot deeper. There are a lot of people who haven’t found jobs so they are applying for positions.”

In his State of the Union Address delivered on Jan. 25, President Obama said, “Over the next ten years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school degree. And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren’t even finishing high school.”

While many can find jobs without attending college, they will not be able to advance as easily in their careers without at least a bachelor’s degree, says Jim Charkins, an economics professor at California State University, San Bernardino.

“There’s a ceiling in many jobs you can’t go beyond without a four-year degree,” says Charkins, executive director of the California Council on Economic Education. “A lot of kids think, ‘I’m just going to go work for the Forest Service.’ Then they get there and they say, ‘I want to make a lot more money in the forest service.’ But in order to do that, you need a college degree.”

Besides income and employment, there are other benefits of college that can improve your quality of life. College graduates, for example, are much more likely to exercise on a regular basis, according to the College Board report. Among four-year college graduates between the ages of 25 and 34, 63 percent exercised vigorously before being surveyed in 2008, compared with 37 percent of high school graduates.

College graduates are also less likely to be obese, the College Board report shows. Among 25- to 34-year-olds, 20 percent of four-year college graduates were obese, compared to 34 percent of high school graduates. In addition college graduates are less likely to smoke. In 2008, 9 percent of four-year college graduates smoked, compared with 27 percent for high school graduates.

There are multiple benefits for children if their parents are college graduates. Parents who have earned a bachelor’s degree are more likely to read to their children; among college graduates , 68 percent read to their children daily in 2007, compared to 41 percent of high school graduates. In addition, college graduates participate more frequently with their school-age children in a range of activities, from visiting a library to attending a concert.

College graduates are also more involved in their communities and are more likely to vote in elections and volunteer for organizations, according to the College Board report.

“Their lives are just so much better, not just in terms of income, but in terms of the style of life that they have,” says Rooney, a professor emeritus of psychology and director of the master’s program in clinical counseling at La Salle University in Philadelphia. “You just learn to appreciate a lot of things in life, like reading and enjoying the various types of entertainment, such as theater, music and art.”

“But it’s a little more than that. I think it’s the sense that you understand better what’s going on in the world — your relationship with politics and community. You’re freed from a narrowness that many of us might grow up with in terms of neighborhood and family. We build on that and go beyond it.”

That is what happened to Neil Gussman, a Philadelphia communications professional who initially decided to work on a Teamster loading dock outside Boston after graduating from high school. During his apprenticeship, Gussman realized that many of his coworkers on the loading dock were in their 50s and 60s and were earning the same salary he was.

After serving in the army for seven years, Gussman finally utilized his military education benefits to enroll in college and eventually earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg. Today, he works as a strategic communications and media relations manager at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, a library and museum in Philadelphia.

“Just becoming an expert in something gives you a different way to look at the world,” Gussman says. “If you have a degree in anything, people will know you’re adaptable and you can learn things. You have so much better a chance of getting a job. And in this economy, having options is a really good thing.”

Quality costs in higher education

Higher education is an important stage in the ladder- type continuum of education as a human development process and the necessity to focus on its quality can never be lost sight of. For it is at the level of higher education in this upward process that one’s shaping and sharpening into a quality human resource actually takes place. Quality is a problem in public higher education because student demands matter too little, and cost is a problem in private higher education because student demands matter too much. This proposition, however much it needs to be qualified and complicated, may provide useful starting point for exploring some issues about quality and cost in higher education.

Quality has been used as a tool to ensure some compliance with these concerns. However, the rationale and policy often tend to be worked out after the decision to undertake an audit, assessment or accreditation process has been made. Thus approaches to quality are predominantly about establishing quality monitoring procedures. The quality of education being offered in institutions of higher education is a question being debated widely. With the growing cost of higher education in India, the question has become especially pertinent for all its stakeholders – students to policymakers alike.

In the present scenario, when all stakeholders of Indian higher education system are concerned about the education offered in its Institutions of higher education, against the back drop of declining funds for higher education, it becomes pertinent to look for  options which can make an impact on the existing system in a most cost effective and user friendly manner. Such options and tools must also be in keeping with the all round socio economic development of the country and must also be relevant in the present day knowledge based society. It is therefore that institutions of higher education in India, today are hard pressed to accept the modern management and computerized interventions into their systems in order to ensure value for money and superlative quality of services offered

Over the years, though the higher education system has been benefited by the examination and recommendations of a number of education committees and commissions, the system today is observed to be the one with lot of short comings viz.,

¨      Lack of focused planning at institutional level

¨      Variable quality of higher education in different institutions across the country

¨      Inflexibility of academic structure that inhibits innovation and excellence

¨      Non-productive research being conducted

¨      Lagging quality of curriculum due to lack of enthusiasm in revision and development of new curriculum

¨      Under-utilization of already scarce resources viz. equipments etc., due to ignorance as well as apathy of all concerned

¨      Low standard services being offered to students & alumni

¨     Very low consistency in decision making coupled with slow pace of its delivery

Funding is a special challenge now, because governments in many countries are disinvesting in higher education. Academic institutions are everywhere asked to pay for an increasing part of their budgets through tuition and student fees, funds raised by consulting and selling research-based products, and other revenue-generating activities. Declining resources allocation for higher education and increasing competition among higher education institutions together with the growing awareness about value for money among public at large have all made the quality of higher education being offered in India, put under a scanner. The various constituents & stakeholders of Indian higher education system, raise questions about the quality in higher education with their own interests, namely:

¨      Students: for choice of an Institution for studying

¨      Parents: for worth of personal investment on the education of their wards.

¨      Governments: for accountability & policymaking

¨      Funding Agencies: for deciding the quantum & extent of fund allocation

¨      Society: for value of taxpayer’s money

¨      Industry: for Industry–Institution partnership & also as employers for graduate recruitments

Quality and heterogeneity

There may be some goods and services which can meaningfully and unambiguously be ranked from “best” to “worst”, but the services of higher education institutions are surely not among them.  Colleges and universities are too various in their missions and clienteles for any single dimensional ranking to make much sense. In fact, it is important to notice that this heterogeneity is of more than one kind.

First, most colleges and universities are “multi-product firms”, aiming to provide more than one, and often many, kinds of services, The large state university, with its concerns for undergraduate, graduate, and professional teaching, for pure and applied research, for public service, for semi-professional athletics, and so on, is the clearest example, but even simpler institutions like community colleges or liberal arts colleges have multiple objectives.

Second, even if we focus on single broadly defined function — say the improvement of students’ writing skills — institutions differ dramatically in the clienteles they serve.

Quality and value

Another “cut” on the quality issue requires distinguishing these questions:

1. How well does a college do with the resources it’s got?

2. How great are this college’s resources?

It may be meaningful to say that one college, which “costs” society more, is, in “absolute” terms, higher in quality than another less expensive college. But is the extra expenditure worth it — does the more expensive college provide as good or better “value for the money’? To answer this requires some sort of judgment about what the added quality is “worth”, a judgment on which different actors may disagree.

Quality and the eye of the beholder

Still another complication in judging quality arises from the fact that, even holding constant mission, clientele, and resources per student, quality may be judged differently by different constituencies that matter to a college or university. Parents may feel differently about heavy “homework” assignments than students do; alumni may have a distinctive view of what good teaching is; the public at large may have a stake in educating students for citizenship which is not felt so acutely by other constituencies; faculty often have a distinctive view of their institution’s mission and central concerns. A full list of groups with a stake in a college’s or university’s conduct would surely include, among others: students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, trustees or governing board members, legislators, and citizens. What quality is depends on how you perceive and why you care about a college.

Student quality and institutional quality

A final complication in thinking about college quality is the interplay between the quality of the students and the quality of the school. In general, one of the things students care about most in choosing a college is the quality of the students. The evidence, not too surprisingly, is that the typical student wants to attend a college where his or her classmates will be somewhat, but not too much, more accomplished than he or she is. Doubtless this is partly a matter of reputation — the job market prospects of a student, for example, are to some degree influenced by the average quality of her classmates — but there is a real educational point to this preference too, Students learn from their colleagues, and it is quite plausible that a student will typically learn most from peers who are near him or her in capacities and accomplishment — and perhaps preferably a little above.

Cost and quality

We might pull together these different aspects of the notion of quality by considering some alternative interpretations of the complaint that the most expensive colleges and universities cost too much — referring here to the resource costs of the institutions rather than their price. There are at least these possible interpretations:

1. These institutions simply waste resources: they could produce exactly the quantity and quality of educational services they do now while using fewer resources.

2. These colleges spend too much money on items that, while desired by some constituencies, are not “genuinely” educationally valuable; such frills add to the cost of education without providing comparable benefits.

3. Too much money is spent on the education of the most able students relative to what is spent on others. Society should find ways to redirect resources from this “elite” education to the education of lower achieving students in other higher education institutions.

4. Too much money is spent on higher education altogether. Fewer resources should be devoted to the education of both more able and less able students in higher education, and the freed resources should be devoted to other social uses that have higher priority.

Only the first of these possibilities conforms unambiguously to an economist’s understanding of “waste”. In every other case, the implied changes would reduce the “cost” of the most expensive colleges and universities only by reducing their “quality”, at least according to the values of some participants. The last three possible interpretations all raise questions about educational priorities, whether among the diverse educational missions and constituencies colleges serve, between institutions serving different categories of students, or between higher education and other social concerns. `Quality’ has evolved from a marginal position to being the foremost concern in higher education alongside funding issues. Approaches to quality in higher education in most countries have started with an assumption that, for various reasons, the quality of higher education needs monitoring. At root, governments around the world are looking for higher education to be more responsive, including:

* making higher education more relevant to social and economic needs;

* widening access to higher education;

* expanding numbers, usually in the face of decreasing unit cost;

* ensuring comparability of provision and procedures, within and between institutions, including international comparisons.

Unpacking the concept of cost

Despite its prominence in recent debate, the notion of “the cost of a year of college education” is fraught with ambiguity. Indeed, the complications seem no less pervasive than those surrounding the idea of the quality of higher education. Some of the ambiguity about costs is due to the degree to which colleges and universities fail to follow our intuitive and usually accurate ideas about economic transactions between buyers and sellers; some ambiguity comes from our embedding in the pricing of higher education social objectives antithetical to the profit motive; and some comes from curious and arcane traditions of college and university accounting that distort their own sense of their own costs.

Quality Improvement

A number of measures have been taken for quality improvement. These include the development of infrastructure, curriculum, human resources and research and establishment of centres of excellence and interdisciplinary and inter-institutional centres. Investment in higher education.Higher education in India is in deep financial strain, with escalating costs and increasing needs, on the one hand, and shrinking budgetary resources, on the other. Recently, major efforts have been mounted for mobilization of resources and it has been recommended that while the Government should make a firm commitment to higher education, institutions of higher education should make efforts to raise their own resources by raising the fee levels, encouraging private donations and by generating revenues through consultancy and other activities. If higher education has to be maintained and developed further, the Government will have to step up measures for encouraging self-reliance

The major initiatives taken by the UGC in improving the quality and standards of higher education are:

§  programmes for setting up Centres of Advanced Study and Research, improvements in college teaching, strengthening research and infrastructure, etc.

§  Periodic review and renewal of curricular content of courses in various disciplines,.

§  Establishment of common facilities for research networking of resources for information and documentation.

§  Induction of electronic media in higher education.

§  Provision of scholarships and fellowships to students.

§  Launching of special programmes for greater participation of women, disadvantaged groups and the weaker sections in higher education.

Financing of Higher Education

Demand for higher educated manpower will increase substantially in the near future and this will impel central focus on the quality and quantity of manpower produced by the higher education system. Both for quantitative expansion and improvement in quality, the system requires large additional resources.

The various sources of finances for higher education in India are: (a) government sector — central government, and state government; and (b) Non-governmental sector— students/parents (or families), e.g., fees, and other maintenance expenditure, and the rest of the community at large, e.g., donations and endowments.

The relative shares of various sources in ‘total’ expenditure on higher education in India have changed considerably over the years. The share of the government has increased in financing higher education, and correspondingly that of every other source, viz., student fees, community contributions, and other internal sources declined steeply, though in absolute money terms there has been a significant increase in the contribution of these sources as well. Thus, higher education in India is characterised by massive public investment, though the investment is still regarded as much below optimum. The rapid growth of school education naturally pushed the demand for higher education.

Recently, efforts are being made to mobilise resources, and it has been recommended that while the government should make a firm commitment of funding higher education, colleges and universities should also make efforts to raise their own resources.


This paper has been offered in a spirit of exploration. Its purpose has been both to clarify and to complicate; to make distinctions involving cost and quality in higher education, but also to warn against too much precision in debate where there is less in fact. “Quality” is a word, and a goal, with many meanings; even “cost”, a term which has the ring of hard facts and bottom lines turns out to be a much more ambiguous and multi-faceted notion in higher education than may at first appear.

Choosing the Right College

Higher Education and Reputation: The Sad Truth

Written by: Nicole Foxx

This writing is a strategic effort to enlighten high school seniors, college students and parents of college and high school age children on the importance of choosing the right college or university. Your goals should be clear as to what you expect to take away form a higher education institution along with your degree of satisfactory completion of the academic program you’ve chosen. There are many things to consider that may not necessarily concern prospective college students however they definitely will affect them upon graduation.

Although some aspire to be life long learners and go to college for the pure enjoyment of obtaining a plethora of knowledge. It is typically the case that students seek rewarding career that will impede higher earning potential. Nevertheless, depending on the college or universities reputation this is sadly not the outcome for many. While a prestigious school such as Harvard renders it gradates an evitable high paying a highly competitive career. Less established schools, Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU; Saginaw, MI) for example cannot ensure that it graduates find jobs in Michigan and chances for gainful employment outside of Michigan are slim to none. Students at SVSU and Harvard may in fact receive similar education and the same degree; the Saginaw Valley graduate will fall short most time when up against the stiff competition of a Harvard graduate. Now, does this mean for the SVSU graduate; six months to a year of unemployment and a job that doesn’t even require a college degree; possibly.  This is especially true if the SVSU graduate chooses a general major, such as; general business over a specific major; accounting. While, some students options are limited it is vitally important to keep in mind what specific jobs they want to pursue after graduation and allow time for Co-op and internship opportunities, all in which will increase their chances of finding work in their field of study. Thoroughly research the industry and find out what type of degrees are required for the positions of interest and tailor your education to meet those requirements.   Another pertinent aspect to remember is GPA, GPA, GPA, this can not be stressed enough, the higher the GPA the better the competitive advantage.

If you were thinking any school will provide a better opportunity than not attending one. Stop! Before taking on $20,000-$40,000 in student loans, this is the average college borrower’s debt. Research the schools that will more closely aid in your employment search.  Reputation of the school plays a key role in whether you put in 100 job applications or 1. Launches a Database of Worldwide Universities

New York, NY — Universities.AC, an online leading provider of academic information announced today that the company managed to build an online comprehensive directory for universities around the world. According to John Metis, company’s CEO, the database contains information about education systems and thousands of higher education institutions including details about their academic divisions, the degrees and diplomas they offer, Location and classification, General Details, Facilities, Statistics and more.

Michael Hill, Co-Owner of Universities.AC says: “The database is both extensive and user friendly. We established Universities.AC in order to create the ultimate database solution for worldwide universities. Most of us were students or plan to be. As former students we have experienced first hand the unique needs of future students who are looking to choose a college or university from what seems to be an endless and cumbersome selection… that’s way we decided to build this massive directory.”

With this new site, Universities.AC intends to control the online higher education field, their strategy to deliver targeted traffic for universities around the globe is a new and refreshing approach to online degrees directories.

Alistair Simpson, Universities.AC’s President says: “I think it’s a fantastic tool for students to stat preparing for their college education. Whether our visitors are planning to start a bachelor degree, a master degree or even a doctorate we offer everything they could possibly need in order to choose the right institute.”

Universities.AC directory consists of over 18,500 universities and colleges. The database contains information about the variety of colleges and universities of over a hundred and ninety countries, together with details of the credentials (qualifications) of each institution. Simpson adds: “The universities site provides information about the different academic institutes of most countries, their admission requirements, recognition of foreign credentials, student life, finances and national scholarship bodies, detailed information about credentials, their level, details of examinations, certificates and the grading system.”

To search Universities.AC new database visit

About Universities.AC

Founded in 1997, Universities.AC was established in order to send targeted traffic of potential students to universities worldwide. Founded by students and for students the site the company operates meets the expectations and needs of students in over a hundred and fifty countries.

Universities.AC is the largest and most efficient database of universities to date, offering extensive information on over 18,500 universities and colleges around the globe and is committed to serve students and potential students in finding their academic home, wherever it maybe.

How to select the right B-School?

India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world; the high speed growth of the Indian economy has resulted in creation of thousands of enterprises catering to diverse needs. It is this explosive growth that has resulted in a great demand for “Management Graduates”. Coimbatore being an education hub, many institutions offer Management programme. The most important among the fresh graduates is “HOW TO SLECT THE RIGHT B-SCHOOL”.


Criteria to be used for selecting a Management Institute

Any graduate who has decided to take up the professional course MBA-Master of Business Administration, should posses one of the primary quality of Asking many questions, the various parameters on which  the decisions to select a right institution are :

1)      Whether the Institution is approved by AICTE and UGC?  Any institution which is offering MBA should be approved by All India Council for Technical Institute (AICTE) and University Grants Commission (UGC). There are some institutions which are offering MBA or equivalent course which is not approved by AICTE. It is one of the important criteria to undertake a course in AICTE approved institution for global recognition.

2)      Affiliated to University or Autonomous:-  The institution would be coimbatore Bharathiar University or Anna University in Coimbatore. Each of the status has its own advantage and disadvantages like MBA under Bharathiar affiliated colleges have semester patter (i.e. Two Semester in a year) while MBA under Anna University affiliated colleges have Trisemester (i.e.  Three semester in a year). Autonomous colleges have the advantage of flexibility of updating the syllabus yearly which is done in tune with the industries need. Selection should be done browsing the syllabus and it’s checking its validity in par with the industries need.

3)      B-School or Department in the Institution offering MBA:- There are two types of institution in which MBA programme is offered, B-school an institution which offers and specializes in offering only MBA and institution which offers MBA as one of the course among the various courses. Most preferred is a B-School.

4)      B-School Rating at all India level :-Organizations like AIMA (All India Management Association), IMRB, Business India, Just Careers, B-School survey and many other organization regularly conducts survey and rates all B-schools at national level, rating is one of the important criteria as companies use this rating for visiting for campus placement, fixing the salary etc.  Rating is given to institution by taking in to consideration factors like infrastructure facilities, faculty strength, campus placement, association activities, personality development programmes, guest lectures, FDP, Industry Institution Interface, Membership in professional bodies, MoU and many other factors. An institution which is rated above ‘A’ at all India level is desirable to be selected.

5)      Employability enhancement programmes: The purpose of joining any organization is to get placed in an MNC. To get placed variety of employability skills like communication, aptitude, attitude etc are required. Thus it is important to select an institution which provides facilities to the students to enhance their employability skills like communication skills, Group discussion training, personality development, Interview techniques etc. which will enable students to acquire various skills and qualities to enhance their placement.

6)      Clubs and Association:-  An good institution should provide opportunity for the students to apply their theoretical knowledge into practice. Various clubs are formed like Marketing, Finance, HR, Business Line, Entrepreneurs club etc. these club serve as a platform for students to develop their managerial qualities like effective planning, Organising, authority and responsibility handling, decision making skill etc. Thus availability of these types of clubs and association enables the students to enhance their managerial skills.

7)      Active Placement Cell:  Placement being the Buzz word, every college has a placement cell, but more important is it should be active. An good institution should have a separate placement officer, should have organized On campus placement and job fairs, regular employment enhancement training programme.

8)      Placement Percentage record:  Student opting for Management programme should check the Placement percentage for last three years. If the institution provides information that it has placed its students as 80/90/cent percentage placement. But more important is the type of companies and their level of salary offered. It is also important to collect information how the placement was done, whether it was On campus or Off campus. How many got placed in On campus and the salary offered to them. Mere percentage should not be considered for selecting.

9)      Visit the Institution before admission:   Never select an institution by going through the institution website, catalogue, and information received at the admission center or education fair. It is advisable to visit the institution and check the various facilities claimed by the institution in various promotional materials like computer, library, modernized classroom, placement record- Offer letters, hostel, transport etc. because if there is a gap in the facilities actually available and claimed in the promotion materials. This will reduce the reality shock.

 These are only some of the criteria, but more important is visiting personally the institution checking the facility and placement record. Getting nurture in a high class b-school is the key to get the right job in the right company.

Obama Said to Delay For-Profit College Loan Rule

The Obama administration is delaying the release of a proposed rule that would cut federal financial aid flowing to for-profit colleges, Congressional aides said today. Analysts said the move means the government may back away from a regulation the industry is fighting.

The proposed rule, known as gainful employment, would disqualify Apollo Group Inc., ITT Educational Services Inc., Career Education Corp. and other for-profit colleges from receiving grants and loans if their graduates spend more than 8 percent of their starting salaries repaying student loans. Analysts said they had expected the rule to be released next week. The aides declined to be named because they said weren’t authorized to release the information.

The Top-10 Universities in the United Kingdom

An assessment carried out by found that Scotland has the highest density of the World’s Top-500 universities in the United Kingdom. is an independent, global and interactive website where visitors can obtain information about universities (global rankings, student reviews, university news and campus pictures).

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) is produced by the Institute of Higher Education at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University . Several indicators of academic or research performance are used to establish the ranking, these include highly cited researchers, articles indexed in major citation indices and staff winning Nobel Prizes.

The World’s Top-500 universities (2008) are mainly located in Europe (n=210; 40%), the Americas (n=190; 40%) and the Asian/Pacific region (n=100; 20%). There are 42 (8%) universities located in the United Kingdom (UK), representing 20% of the universities in Europe.

The top-10 universities in the UK are: University of Cambridge (ranked 4th in the world), the University of Oxford (10th), University College London (22nd), Imperial College London (27th), The University of Manchester (40th), University of Edinburgh (55th), University of Bristol (61st), University of Sheffield (77th), King’s College London (81st) and University of Nottingham (82nd).

The UK has the highest number of universities in the World’s Top-500 universities (42) compared to the other European countries: Germany (40), France (23), Italy (22), the Netherlands (12), Sweden (11) and Spain (9). In the ranking of Europe’s Top-10 universities, five are located in the UK and in the Top-25 universities, 9 are located in the United Kingdom.

The UK universities are located in following regions: England (34), Scotland (5), Wales (2) and Northern Ireland (1). An interesting difference is that universities in Scotland are much older than in the other three regions: the median age of the Scottish universities is 513 years (range 127-598) compared to 101 years (range 39-912) in England and 107 years (range 88-125) in Wales.

In order to make a comparison with other industrialized countries, calculates the number of universities in the World’s Top-500 (2008) per one million inhabitants. The overall number of universities per million inhabitants in industrialised countries is 0.5. An earlier assessment found that small countries in Western Europe (Sweden (1.2), Finland (1.1) and Switzerland (1.0)) and New Zealand (1.2) have the highest number of universities per million inhabitants.

The number of universities in the World’s Top-500 universities that are located in the UK is 0.7 per million inhabitants, which compares favourably with other large industrialized countries: Canada (0.6), Germany (0.5), United States (0.5), France (0.4), Italy (0.4) and Japan (0.2). For the four regions of the United Kingdom, the numbers are as follows: Scotland (1.0), England (0.7), Wales (0.7) and Northern Ireland (0.6).

Within the UK, Scotland has a much higher density of top universities compared to England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland also performs very well compared to other industrialised countries and the number of Scottish universities per million inhabitants is one of the highest in the world.

Is College Education More Valuable Than a Job Experience

Job Experience or education degree? What values more? It is a discussion that has been going on for quite some time now. And no definite conclusion has still been drawn for the simple reason that it’s subjective and it really depends on individuals. Of course, the value of a college education degree cannot be paralleled to that of a job experience. Still the global job market can boast of innumerable examples of individuals who are at the peak of success without attaining a graduate or master’s degree or higher education for that matter.  

For many it becomes difficult to continue school because of soaring costs of education & if one thinks that it is more important for him to earn money rather than going for a full-time degree course. Previously a high school diploma was considered enough to assure an entry-level job where the profile is handling basic tasks. Besides, they are given on-the-job training  to hone their skills. At the same time, they had enough number of years to count as their job experience. As a result, people hardly changed job and preferred to stay with that company in their entire career.  

These traditions, however, are no longer practiced because today’s job market provides individuals with better opportunity. An individual changes jobs, as soon as they are offered a better growth opportunity and a few extra thousands are added in the pay package. Hence, it will not be wrong to say an individual changes around nine to ten jobs in his entire career. Considering this, employers nowadays hesitate to spend on internal training and hires individuals who does not need to undergo development programs and most preferably has higher education degree to his credit. Hence, we can say that there are many reasons why a college degree has fair advantage when it comes to career growth in the long run. 

Employment Benefits

 A college graduate is a highly attractive candidate for recruiters. As a holder of a graduate degree, you are at an advantage to choose from a variety of job offers. You do not have to go for an entry-level job but can join in the middle management at the very first time. No doubts you will earn much more than those without proper degrees. On the other hand, people with job experience without college degree does not have comprehensive knowledge to handle the business. 

Meet Tougher Job Requirements

A college graduate comparatively has better interpersonal & more critical skills to his credit. During their years of college education, they learn & assess the various strategies and factors driving today’s market. They are better exposed to the ever-changing market and can analyze problems & take smart decisions that ultimately results in the profitability of the company.

Career Training Provided

 A college graduate is provided all the necessary career training, they possess specific skills and are learned to perform jobs with detail and understand client mentality at the same time. Some institutes also provides internship to the students at other companies, thereby helping them acquire practical knowledge and greater exposure. Therefore, employers always prefer to recruit holders of bachelor degree.

 Increased Income

Investment in higher education is always rewarding. Whatever you spend on your degree course, will return to you as your attractive pay package. You spend hefty amount to pursue college education but you are assured of  higher earnings that is much more than your colleagues who doesn’t possess graduate degree. 

Economic Benefit to the Nation

 It is rightly said that a nation cannot progress if its citizens lag behind in education. No doubt a nation earns and progresses if the number of college graduates increases every year. Because of higher education, a nation’s tax revenue increases, greater manpower results in greater productivity which results in the advancement of the country as a  whole.

 Social Value of College Education 

It has been found that higher education is highly related to good citizenship and family values. Graduates have more sense about the right upbringing of their child, the elements that can progress or harm the society, etc. In a way, their practicality helps in the progress of the society and the country in the long run.

 As it is clear above that a college educations proves more beneficial for a person, it becomes imperative that more number of people participate in higher education and fill the gap that arises due to the non-participation in college education. Increased college education will not only help the student to mark an edge, but also benefit the society and the country as a whole.

 However, it would be wrong to say that only holders of college and higher education can be successful in their careers. Today a number of institutions offer online degree courses for all professions. Most of the courses are accredited and provides the same education quality that one gets in a full-time college degree course.

Higher Education in Wto Regime

1. Introduction         

When there was no university elsewhere in the Europe; Takshasila, Vikramshila, Pallavi, and Nalanda were the centers of Global Education and attracting learners from all around the globe. The development of modern education in India started with the establishment of Hindu College in Calcutta in 1817. During British reign, Calcutta University was the first to confer the bachelor degree on women in 1883.

After independence various universities have been opened both by the government as well as private sector. The main motive behind opening these universities were not to earn profit but to serve the society by imparting higher education and conducting researches related to pure and social sciences. The fees charged from the students were minimum, hence these institutions were generating deficit so there was a need to go for the donations and aids to cover its fixed and running expenses. But gradually there was a drastic change in the scene .The education sector emerges as one of the most profitable business opportunity. The increase in the number of private schools and institutions supports the fact. Higher education is not an exception to this. Gradually most of the corporate entities have also entered into the picture.

2. Corporatisation of Higher Education

Now a days education sector is a trillion dollar industry. It is a service sector industry in the area of education as service with a huge global market in which students, teachers and non- teaching employee constitute resources for profit generation. So the concepts of marketing are also applicable. The organizations have to market their product and themselves in order to survive. In this industry the students are the customers, the teachers are the service providers and the institutions are organizers or marketers and teaching-learning process is no longer for the building of a nation but a business for profit making. Education at all levels, will continue to grow, because it cultivates the human mind and makes people important and useful in the all round development of a country, however for the corporate sector it will grow as a big service industry. Predatory and powerful MNCs are targeting public education, particularly higher education, for profit- making. Though predominantly a government supported service most governments are as consequences of neo-liberal economic reforms, withdrawing from it. The government of India through extensive privatization, commercialization and deregulation is encouraging this process.

3.  Education under GATS umbrella

In 1996, the United States provided exports of education and training services had reached 8.2 billion dollars, and its trade surplus in education amounted to 7 billion dollars. Higher education was the fifth largest service exported by the US. Therefore, the pressure of the United States on WTO member countries in relation to trade in education service is clearly understandable.

The US, the European Union (EU), Japan and Canada are the main powers behind the GATS. Though WTO membership consists of nation states, the transnational corporations of these countries that sit on all the important “advisory” committees and determine detailed policy shape its agenda. While denying access to decent healthcare, education housing and long term care to millions of workers and their families the world over, the agreement will confer ever greater political power on these corporations as they control and dictate public policy.

GATS have two components: (i) the framework agreement containing 29 articles, and (ii) a number of Annexes, Ministerial decisions etc. as well as the schedules of commitments by each member government, which bind them to allow market access, and /or remove existing restrictions to market access. This agreement covers all services, including education 

When the services are entirely provided by the government, they do not fall within the GATS rule. For a service to be out of the purview of the GATS rule it has to be entirely free. However, when the service have been provided either by the government partially or some prices are charged (as happens in education where some fees is charged) , or provided by the private providers , they shall fall under the GATS rule.

The informal WTO classification List (W/120) divides educational services into five parts: (a) Primary education (b) secondary education (c) higher education (d) adult education (e) other education.

The idea behind this is the creation of an open, global marketplace where services like education can be traded to the highest bidder. GATS cover the educational services of all the countries whose educational system are not exclusively provided by the public sector, or those educational systems that have commercial purposes. In India, we cannot get exemption in education from the application of GATS because education at all levels, particularly at higher education level is not entirely free (i.e. some fees has to be paid)

Corporate because of their huge financial resources are able to attract the best talent available in the country and hence they are providing the quality service to their customers (students). They have the access to the new sources of finances .In India also the issuing of shares by the schools and educational institution and its trading in the stock exchange will be a reality. Then the quality of the institute may be judged by looking at the share prices in the stock market and like any other business enterprises the wealth maximization will be the main goal of the institute and their entire effort will be to increase their market share and ultimately to increase the market capitalization. The government is reducing the grants given to the universities and colleges and these institutes are asked to arrange their own sources of finance .In that scenario those educational institution who will not be earning surplus will die like any other seek industrial unit. So it is the high time for those institutes to think for earning surplus and make themselves competitive for survival.

But when these institutions will be running on absolutely business principles for earning profit obviously the fees charged from the students will be higher. The application of some unethical and unfair practices for attracting the students and earning higher profit cannot be overlooked in that scenario.

4. Indian reality

In a country like India where a large section of our population is living below the poverty line, almost 35% of the population is still illiterate and we are talking about removing poverty and illiteracy, in that situation they will be the most mistreated people. So it is the government and its institutions, which will have to look at this aspect. Hence imparting higher education by charging high fees by the government run universities and college will not be desirable and the government has to look at the welfare aspect of its people. But before coming to any conclusion we have to consider the following two ground and hard realities in this respect: -

1.      India being the member country of WTO, must abide by the decisions and regulations of WTO. So it cannot stop the foreign universities and institutes to operate in India, which are having ample financial, physical and intellectual resources and are running on absolutely business principles for earning profit.

2.      The government of India is reducing the grants and aids given to the government universities and colleges and these institutes are called to mobilize resources from their internal sources as well as external sources. They are also asked by the UGC and NAAC to become more competitive.

So it is the time as well as the opportunity for our Government funded institutions/universities/colleges to make themselves competitive and to go for globalization. This can be only possible when they will stand on their own feet by earning surplus and are effectively and efficiently run. But at the same time we have to think for the weaker sections of the society who could not afford a high expenditure on the study.

Therefore it is very high time for educational institutes to build a business model, which will be able to compete with the foreign universities and also the weaker sections of the society will also be taken care of.

5. The model of Arvindo Eye Hospital, Madurai

The Arvindo Eye Hospital of Madurai has set an outstanding business model showing how an organisation can serve the society at large on one hand and can also earn profitable surplus on the other hand. At Arvindo Eye Hospital, economically poor people are provided treatment at free of cost and the patients who can afford are charged the requisite treatment charges. More than two-third of the patients treated in the hospital fall under the former economically unprivileged category and yet he hospital earns substantial profits. But a remarkable policy to be noticed is that the service provided to both categories of rich and poor patients are exactly same and no compromise of any sort is done with regard to the quality of treatment and service provided. The secret behind the success of the hospital is the volume of patients giving business and fact that hospital does not spend money on conspicuous consumptions. Promotion is through word of mouth and mass print media.

Similar model can be adopted by our government run and universities, whereby the required fees can be charged from students whose parents can afford the same, and concessions to be provided to the economically deprived students. With the globalization, liberation, privatization and economic growth more and more people are finding occupations in private sector leading to an increase in the purchasing power at the hands of the middle and upper class of the society who has become conscious of and can afford quality education at higher prices. This is a positive factor which the universities can cash upon and which further supports the above model.

Notes and References




4.      A Case study on Arbind Eye Hospital, Madurai, IIMB Review, September,2005.

5.      Kumar R; World Trade Organisation, Structure, Functions, Tasks, Challenges, Deep and Deep Publications, 2004.

Education Related General Reference Books

Education-Related Reference Books

Commonwealth Universities Yearbook (Association of Commonwealth Universities, London) This standard reference work covers what they refer to as all schools “in good standing” in 36 countries or areas. Many admissions departments reference this book when making admissions or acceptance decisions. More than 600 institutions are described in great detail. The H.E.P. Higher Education Directory (Higher Education Publications, 6400 Arlington Blvd., Suite 648, Falls Church, VA 22042; (703) 532-2300) Until 1983, the U.S. Department of Education published a comprehensive directory of information on colleges and universities. When President Reagan announced his intention to shut down the Department of Education, their publication was discontinued and H.E.P. began publishing an almost identical directory. It emerges toward the end of each year and gives detailed factual information (no opinions or ratings) on all accredited schools. They used to list California-approved schools as well, but stopped in 1988. The Independent Study Catalog (Peterson’s Guides) In effect, a master catalog listing all 13,000+ courses offered by more than 140 U.S. and Canadian institutions offering correspondence study. Only the course titles are given, so it is still necessary to write to the individual schools for detailed information. Updated periodically, the latest edition is the 7th, for 1998. International Handbook of Universities (Groves Dictionaries) 1,506 pages and an amazing $250 price tag. Gives detailed information on virtually every college, university, technical institute, and training school in the world. This is the book that is most used by collegiate registrars and admissions officers to evaluate schools. Accredited Institutions of Postsecondary Education (Oryx Press) Issued around the middle of each year, this book lists every accredited institution and candidate for accreditation. This is the book many people use to determine conclusively whether or not a given American school is accredited. Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges (Barron’s Education Series) A massive 1,300-page volume that describes every accredited college and university in America, with lists of majors offered by each school.

Campus-Free College Degrees (8th edition) by Marcie K. Thorson (Thorson Guides) This well-done book covers accredited schools only; does not include schools outside the U.S., even when they have U.S. accreditation.

Distance Degrees by Mark Wilson (Umpqua Education Research Alliance) Accredited schools only. While the geographical index lists only US schools, the book also covers a few Canadian and British institutions.

External Degrees in the Information Age: Legitimate Choices by Eugene Sullivan, David Stewart and Henry Spille (Onyx Press) Now why would they arrange a book on external degrees geographically, not alphabetically? A decent book, but many fewer listings than Thorson, Peterson’s, Wilson, or us. Nearly 10% of the text is devoted to one school. A very helpful chart comparing school-licensing laws in all the states.

How to Earn a College Degree Without Going to College by James P. Duffy (John Wiley & Sons) Much along the lines of our guide, but describes only Bachelor’s programs at accredited schools (fewer than 100 of them) and only wholly nonresident programs. Apparently not updated since 1994.

How to Earn an Advanced Degree Without Going to Graduate School by James P. Duffy (John Wiley & Sons) The graduate-school version of the above book lists 140 accredited nonresidential Master’s and doctoral programs. Apparently not updated since 1994.

The Internet University by Dan Corrigan (Cape Software, Box 800, Harwich, MA 02645) A comprehensive guide both to the entire practice of on-line education and courses, and to more than 2,700 actual courses available. Much of the information is also available free on-line at

Lovejoy’s College Guide by Charles T. Straughn & Barbarasue Straughn (Macmillan) Briefer descriptions than other guides, but still a huge book: 1,600 pages. In the past, the usefulness of Lovejoy’s has been marred by the listing of some real clinkers, particularly totally phony diploma mills (organizations that may grant an online high school diploma in exchange for a fee rather than the completion of a course, for example) that somehow managed to get past the editors.

Options: A Guide to Selected Opportunities in Non-Traditional Education by David Jones-Delcorde Helpful information on various professional designations, and advice for distance learning students.

Oryx Guide to Distance Learning (Oryx Press) Lists more than 100 accredited U.S. institutions, focusing on audio, video, and on-line instruction.

Peterson’s Guide to Distance Learning Programs (Peterson’s Guides) Probably the main competitor to our book, this is quite a comprehensive collection of information. Does not cover unaccredited schools or schools outside North America (except for two of the many British schools). Our real annoyance with this book is that more than one quarter of it, 150 pages, is taken up with paid advertising for schools, which is not identified as paid advertising, but simply as “in-depth descriptions.”

Peterson’s Guide to Graduate and Professional Programs (Peterson’s Guides) Five large books, each describing in detail opportunities for residential graduate study in the U.S. Volumes cover social science and humanities, biological and agricultural sciences, physical sciences, and engineering. There is also a summary volume. The series is updated annually.

Peterson’s Guide to Four-Year Colleges (Peterson’s Guides) Another massive annual directory (some 2,800 pages), covering traditional accredited schools only.

World-Wide Inventory of Non-Traditional Degree Programs (UNESCO, c/o Unipub, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391) A generally useful United Nations report on what many of the world’s nations are doing in the way of nontraditional education. Some helpful school descriptions, and lots of detailed descriptions of evening courses offered by workers’ cooperatives in Bulgaria and suchlike.

World Guide to Higher Education (Bowker Publishing Co.)
A comprehensive survey, by the United Nations, of educational systems, degrees, and qualifications, from Afghanistan to Zambia.

Credit by Life Experience Learning Books

Earn College Credit for What You Know by Lois Lamdin (Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, 223 W. Jackson Blvd., #510, Chicago, IL 60606, (312) 922-5909.) How to put together a life experience portfolio: how to gather the necessary information, document it, and assemble it.

Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs(Oryx Press) Many nontraditional programs use this large volume, based on American Council on Education recommendations, to assign credit for more than 5,000 business, trade union, association, and government agency training programs.

Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Forces (Oryx Press) Many schools use this 2,000-page 3-volume set (one for each service) to assess credit for non-school learning. Describes and makes credit recommendations for more than 8,000 military training programs.

Portfolio Development and Adult Learning: Purposes and Strategies by Alan Mandell and Elana Michelson (Council for Adult and Experiential Learning) Explores the eight approaches to portfolio development courses most typically used at colleges and universities, providing examples of each through a closer examination of prior learning assessment programs offered at 11 institutions of higher learning.

Prior Learning Assessment: the portfolio by Marthe Sansregret (Hurtubise HMH, 7360 Newman Blvd., LaSalle, Quebec H8N 1X2 Canada) A well-respected head of assessment for a major university told us that this is the book he asks his students to use to create their portfolios. It comes with software (Mac or DOS) to make the process more efficient.

Using Licenses and Certificates as Evidence of College-Level Learning by Harriet Cabell (CAEL, see above) A five-page summary of Dr. Cabell’s doctoral research, examining the practices of schools that award credit based on applicants’ licenses and certificates.

The Value of Personal Learning Outside College by Peter Smith (Acropolis Books) Dr. Smith, the founder of Vermont Community College and later the lieutenant governor of Vermont, has written a charming and very useful book on matters related to earning credit for non-school learning (which, he points out, accounts for 90% of what an adult knows). Many inspiring case histories of adults who pursued this path, plus appendices that help one identify and describe out-of-school learning. (Formerly titled Your Hidden Credentials).

Medical School Reference Books

Foreign Medical Schools for U.S. Citizens by Carlos Pestana, M.D., Ph.D. (P.O. Box 790617, San Antonio, TX 78279-0617) This wonderful book is now back in print in an updated 1995 edition. It gives anecdotal, well-written, and very informative write-ups on the good and less-good best foreign schools for American medical school applicants, as well as application tips and other survival advice.

The Medical School Applicant: advice for premedical students by Carlos Pestana, M.D., Ph.D. (see immediately above) Another wonderful book by Dr. Pestana, bringing his unique perspective to all the usual matters that books on medical schools have, and a great deal more, including a remarkable chapter on “Special Angles: The Dirty Tricks Department a frank analysis of unconventional pathways to a medical education.”

The Official Guide to Caribbean Medical Schools by S. K. Sarin and R. K. Yalamanchi (CaribMed, Inc., Chicago, IL, Well it’s not “official” but it is a helpful little guide (104 pages), describing what it is like to do a Caribbean M.D. (both the authors did so), with detailed descriptions of the six major Caribbean medical schools.

Religious Schools

Name It and Frame It: New Opportunities in Adult Education, and How to Avoid Being Ripped off by ‘Christian’ Degree Mills by Steve Levicoff (Institute on Religion and Law) A funny, informative, helpful, abrasive, and in some some respects, quite outrageous book, which invites the dozens of schools called ‘degree mills’ to sue the author if they don’t like their listing. According to the author, none ever has. After publishing four editions, Dr. Levicoff stopped selling his book, and now gives it away free on the Internet ( A bit out of date now; there may be a new edition in 1999 or 2000.

Walston’s Guide to Earning Religious Degrees Nontraditionally by Rick Walston (Persuasion Press, Box 847, Longview, WA 98632) “Josh” Walston and John Bear once collaborated on what they called Walston & Bear’s Guide to Earning Religious Degrees Nontraditionally. As they had planned, by the 3rd edition, John bowed out, leaving the book entirely in Dr. Walston’s hands. Walston is much more accepting than Levicoff of legal unaccredited schools, but takes a strong stand (“Shame,” he says) against the many that improperly claim accreditation.

Financial Aid Reference Books

Finding Money for College by John Bear and Mariah Bear (Ten Speed Press) We collected all the information we could find about the nontraditional and unorthodox approaches to getting a share in the billions of dollars that go unclaimed each year, including barter, real estate and tax gambits, negotiation, creative payment plans, obscure scholarships, foundations that make grants to individuals, etc. Available for sale on this website.

The Scholarship Bookby Daniel Cassidy (Prentice-Hall), Dan Cassidy’s Worldwide College Scholarship Directory and Dan Cassidy’s Worldwide Graduate Scholarship Directory (Career Press) These three books are, in effect, a complete printout of the data banks of information used by Cassidy’s National Scholarship Research Service, described in chapter 10. Tens of thousands of sources are listed for undergraduate and graduate students, for study in the U.S. and overseas.

The A’s and B’s of Academic Scholarships by Anna and Robert Leider (Octameron Associates, P.O. Box 248, Alexandria, VA 22301) Lists more than 100,000 scholarships plus advice on earning them.

Don’t Miss Out: The Ambitious Student’s Guide to Financial Aid by Anna and Robert Leiter (Octameron) A complement to our Finding Money book, this one gives excellent advice in pursuing the traditional route to financial aid.

Miscellaneous General Education Reference Books

Killing the Spirit: Higher Education in America by Page Smith (Viking Penguin) In 1990, one of John’s writer-heroes issued this extraordinary book about everything that is wrong in higher education. From page 1: “The major themes might be characterized as the impoverishment of the spirit by ‘academic fundamentalism,’ the flight from teaching, the meretriciousness of most academic research, the disintegration of the disciplines, the alliance of the universities with the Department of Defense . . . etc., and last but not least, the corruptions incident to ‘big time’ collegiate sports.” Read this wonderful book. Or listen to it: Page Smith reads it, on 8 cassettes available from audio book sources.

College on Your Own by Gene R. Hawes and Gail Parker (Bantam Books) This remarkable book, now out of print, serves as a syllabus for a great many fields, for people who want to do college-level work at home, with or without the guidance of a college. A brief overview of each field (anthropology, biology, chemistry, history, etc.) and a detailed reading list for learning more about the field. Quite valuable in preparing learning contracts. Why doesn’t some shrewd publisher put this fine volume back in print?

External Degrees in the Information Age by Eugene Sullivan, David W. Stewart, and Henry A. Spille (Oryx Press, 1997) In a sense, this is a successor to Stewart and Spille’s Diploma Mills. It discusses principles of good practice in this field, along with guidelines for identifying bad schools. (We wish the authors didn’t write such unkind things about John and about our book elsewhere.)

Getting a College Degree Fast by Joanne Aber (Prometheus Books, 1996) A decent enough book, focusing primarily on following the same path the author did: taking examinations to earn credit. Excellent information is provided on this topic, but not so useful for school and accreditation information (more than a few errors here).

Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student’s Guide to Earning a Master’s or Ph.D. by Robert L. Peters, Ph.D. (Noonday Press, 1997) Another wonderful and extremely helpful book. Quoting from chapter one [This Book Can Help (and you probably need it)], “Graduate students run into problems because they do not understand how graduate school works, nor do most undergraduate counselors and graduate departments provide enough realistic guidance. . . . This book tells you what graduate school is really like. . . . I tell you how to create a comprehensive strategy that blends politics, psychology, and planning to ensure that your hard work pays off with a degree and a job.” And he does, eloquently.

Hunter’s Guide to the College Guides by Bruce Hunter (P. O. Box 9647, Naples, FL 33941) A high school counselor has created this useful evaluation (from “Not helpful” to “Most helpful”) of scores of college guidebooks, both general (Lovejoy’s, Barrons, etc.) and specific (guides for athletes, religious students, handicapped students, African-American students, and so on). Books are described in considerable detail and no, Bears’ guide is not included. Dismissed as falling outside the scope. Such is life.

The Ph.D. Trap by Wilfred Cude (Medicine Label Press, RR2, West Bay, Nova Scotia B0E 3K0 Canada) The author was treated very badly in his own graduate program, which turned him into a reformer. Farley Mowat writes that he is “the kind of reformer this world needs. Humane, literate, reasonable, and utterly implacable, he has just unmasked the gruesome goings on in the academic morgue that deals in doctoral degrees. Any student contemplating the pursuit of a doctorate had better read The Ph.D. Trap as a matter of basic self-preservation. . . .”

Proving You’re Qualified: Strategies for Competent People Without College Degreesby Charles D. Hayes (Autodidactic Press, Box 872749, Wasilla, Alaska 99687) The author makes a strong case for competence being more important than credentials in life but, since many gatekeepers disagree, Hayes goes on to show how to, well, how to do what the title says. Ronald Gross, who writes splendid books on education himself, says that “this is the wisest and most useful book I have ever read on this subject.”

This Way Out: A guide to alternatives to traditional college education in the U.S. by John Coyne and Tom Hebert (E. P. Dutton) A delightful, if out-of-date book, now out of print, that describes a small number of alternatives in detail, with inspirational interviews with participants. Includes an intriguing essay on self-education by hiring tutors, and sections as diverse as how to study, how to hitchhike successfully, what to do when revolution breaks out in the country in which you are studying, and how to deal with large universities worldwide.

Virtual College by Pam Dixon (Peterson’s, 1996) A charming and very helpful little book (and she says nice things about ours, too), focusing on many of the issues the distance learner may face, including transfer of credits, employer acceptance, listing distance degrees on a resume, choosing technology, what it is like to be a distance student, and so on.

Winning the Ph.D. Game by Dr. Richard W. Moore (Dodd, Mead & Co.) Now out of print, this is a lighthearted, extremely useful guidebook for current and prospective doctoral students. Covers the entire process, from selecting schools to career planning. Moore’s aim is to “describe the folk wisdom passed from one generation of graduate students to the next (in order to) make the whole process less traumatic.” He succeeds admirably.

Diploma Mills

Diploma Mills: Degrees of Fraud by David W. Stewart and Henry A. Spille (Oryx) Originally this book was to provide details on specific operating diploma mills, but sadly, the authors either lost courage or were dissuaded by their attorneys, and it turned out to be only a moderately interesting survey of the history of the problem, with a once useful but now quite dated summary and evaluation of the current school laws in all 50 states.


The academic journals typically address research aspects of the field (e.g., The Effectiveness of Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Lectures on Exam Performance). The main one in the U.S. is the American Journal of Distance Education, 403 S. Allen St., #206, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16801.

The main one in Canada is the Journal of Distance Education, published by the Canadian Association for Distance Education, 205-1 Stewart Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 6H7 Canada, and searchable on Internet at

The Online Chronicle of Distance Education and Communication is published by Nova Southeastern University, and is available free on the Internet:

In Australia, the journal is Distance Education, published at the University of Southern Queensland, Distance Education Centre, Toowoomba Queensland 4350, Australia. It is searchable on the Internet at: