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More quick hits

– How can this be the website for the Ministry of Youth Affairs? No wonder folks are worried about the “Youth Fund”.

Afrophone Wikis – a discussion group on developing Wikipedia in African languages (Hat tip Ndesanjo!).

– On (brand) name schools and all in the U.S. I had ambitions of a longer post on this issue given my background, but I’m pressed for time so here’s my quick two cents. Speaking from my own personal experience, I agree with the Time article…it might be smarter to overlook the Ivies for undergrad especially if you have plans to go on to grad school. I went to a public undergrad – the University of Pittsburgh – I found it much easier to build relationships with Professors (got great mentors), get amazing research experience, get lots of benefit from the honors program etc…and all these things made my application for grad school much stronger than it would have been if I had gone somewhere where I had to compete for attention. Not to mention the much cheaper costs, which is critical if you are going on to acquire massive grad school debt. If my experience at HLS is anything to go buy, I imagine that developing meaningful relationships with a Prof. is rare at top undergrad schools because they have very limited time and there is a lot of competition for their time…generally you have to be a superstar among superstars. I’m also not sure that I would have enjoyed by surrounded by fellow A-types for both undergrad and grad school :-) The one thing benefit that a top undergrad offers, is easier entry into a top grad school. At HLS in my year, about 75 out of 550 students were from Harvard undergrad and the rest of the Ivies were heavily represented as well. Other than that, I don’t think that one is shortchanging themselves that attending an undergrad program that is more targeted to their specific needs rather than a prominent school that doesn’t offer you what you want. For grad school on the other hand, general consensus (and I agree) is that the school’s reputation, especially with MBA’s and J.D’s is a lot more important.

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