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DeWitt Discusses Russian Lead in Science Students

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As a result of its highly selective system of education the Soviet Union is producing two to three times as many scientific and technical professional graduates a year as the United States, claims Nicholas DeWitt '52, an associate of the University's Russian Research Center.

In his recently published book, Education and Professional Employment in the U.S.S.R., the result of a three year research project sponsored by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, DeWitt asserts that while the United States is producing 90,000 engineering, science, and applied science professionals annually, the Soviet Union is averaging 190,000, with the figure expected to rise to 250,000 by 1970.

DeWitt relates his findings to the varying emphasis on science in the two countries. While the annual number of Americans receiving the Ph.D. is almost the same as the number of Russians receiving the equivalent Candidate Degree, the Soviet Union awards 20 percent more of its degrees in the scientific fields than the United States does.

The scientific training given the Soviet is much more narrow in scope than the program perused by the average American scientist. The Soviet program concentrates on developing highly specialized skills, with the intent of preparing each student for a specific job.

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