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UC Grad Student Tuition Raised To $8900/year
by repost
Sunday Jan 11th, 2004 1:33 PM
Tuition is going to go up at Cal State, community colleges and UC Berkeley
Certainly not the most burdened sector of society, University of California students are scheduled to have a big tuition increase, making tuition much higher than equivalent universities in other states. Graduate students are having the biggest increase of 40%, to $8900/year. Graduate students are different from professional students in law and medicine and teaching who are having their tuition raised even more. Grad students are made up of humanities and social sciences phd students who often take 7 years to get a degree, engineering and natural sciences students who typically get a 2year masters, science phds who take 5 years. Especially in certain fields where there are far more PhDs produced than there are academic jobs available at the end of the pipeline, being a graduate students constitutes a low-paid life experience. Sacramento legislature and the University of California have been very open about the fact that they admit so many graduate students because it keeps the cost of undergraduate education down, and these graduate students partly function as the teaching staff.

Most language classes such as spanish and english are taught entirely by graduate students. Ditto for most science labs, introductory math courses, and discussion sections in the upper division. The precise statistic isn't at hand, but something like 40% of class hours are taught by the graduate student workers. PhD students teach these classes halftime for a wage of $13,000/year at UC. This is considered a good wage, even though the fulltime rate of $26,000 would be lower than public school teaching and these graduate students must hold a bachelors and or masters, and go through some training. A recent major sticking point in union negotiations that almost led to a strike was the issue of the university not wanting to allow a complaint board where grad student TAs could complain about being assigned more than halftime working hours, and professors sometimes give their TA 30 or 40 hours of work per week.

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academia and exploitationjohnTuesday Jan 13th, 2004 6:55 AM
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