WASHINGTON - Well paying graduate fellowships are needed to attract more American-born engineering students, according to a new report from the National Research Council.

The report tackles the controversial issue of the growing presence of foreign-born engineers in U.S. universities, both as students and faculty, and the parallel drop in the number of Americans pursuing advanced degrees in the field. Its subtitle, "Infusing Talent, Raising Issues," emphasizes its decision to avoid racial or ethnic arguments in favor of finding ways to strengthen U.S. engineering.

"Foreign students are a terrific economic bargain for the U.S.," explained Stanford Penner, chair of the committee that sponsored the report and an engineer at the University of California San Diego. "We do not want to increase the barriers to their entry. But their presence is a direct result of the absence of U.S.-born students, who we want to encourage to pursue advanced degrees."

The report's...

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