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Spring 2003
Going After the Best
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In an environment of dwindling resources and intense competition among universities, what is required to enhance UCLA’s Excellence and Competitiveness?

By Ajay Singh
Illustration by Luba Lukova

ANYONE WHO STROLLS across its lush, grassy campus, past its commanding libraries, laboratories and lecture halls and spends time talking with its bright and eager students and gifted faculty will readily fathom that UCLA is a top-tier institution. Indeed, UCLA is by any measure one of the world’s premier centers for research and scholarship, a virtual cathedral of knowledge where more than 100 major disciplines are offered to some 37,000 graduate and undergraduate students every year.

Consider just a few of UCLA’s achievements: In the past six years its faculty has won two Nobel Prizes; the UCLA Medical Center has been judged as “Best Hospital in the West” by U.S. News & World Report for 13 consecutive years; no less than 31 of UCLA’s Ph.D. programs rank among the top 20 in their fields, making them collectively the third-best in the country; the university is among the top five in the United States for total research funding from all sources, and in the fields of science and engineering jumped from 12th in the nation for federal funding in 1997 to No. 3 nationally in 2000.

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