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Reporters on the Job

Degrees of Utility: Around the world, college graduates face the real-life test of translating academic glory into a paying job (see story). But in Britain, says correspondent Mark Rice-Oxley, the pressure surrounding the transition is increasingly acute. "As I talked to one university student, I thought to myself that 15 years ago, he would have been confident and certain of his prospects," says Mark. "He has a good degree. But in the past 15 years, the number of college graduates has skyrocketed while professional jobs to accommodate them have not grown as much. So the competition is much tougher."

Some students are responding by trying to pepper their transcripts with "practical" courses. And the ivory tower is responding to market forces as well. "My university shut down my department (Russian) a few years after I graduated in 1992," says Mark. "It was a question of the market."

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Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor

Follow-up on a Monitor story

In the June 11 edition of the Monitor, correspondent Charles Hawley reported on the controversy surrounding Berlin's replica of Checkpoint Charlie, the landmark crossing established in 1961 between East and West Berlin. The small building had been wrapped in tarp (top) - a protest against actors who were dressing in the uniforms of East German secret police and posing for tourist photos. But Tuesday, Checkpoint Charlie was restored to full visibility (above) as a new ban on actors from dressing as the infamous police took effect.