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Chapter 8: UC Berkeley: The DNA of Excellence and Impact

Berkeley, California: Bob, a valedictorian at his high school in Philadelphia, was a highly sought-after student. He received scholarships from a number of Ivy League schools, but he found UC Berkeley and the west coast’s unique culture appealing. Like Bob, tens of thousands of talented students from California, the rest of the United States, and around the world are attracted to study at UC Berkeley every year.

UC Berkeley was recently ranked #4 in the ARWU world rankings. Its faculty and alumni have won 22 and 29 Nobel Prizes respectively. For close to 150 years, it has sustained an enviable reputation as one of the top research universities in the world.

  • What makes UC Berkeley so special?

  • How has it achieved its success?

  • What could colleges and universities in India learn from UC Berkeley?

In Chapter 8, I address these and related questions. Founded in 1868, UC Berkeley is the first and the flagship campus of the University of California. It has grown to include 130 academic departments and 34 interdisciplinary graduate groups that offer degrees. It has 1,620 full-time and 616 part-time faculty members and offers almost 8,000 courses in approximately 276 degree programs. Student enrollment is over 35,000.

UC Berkeley attracts the best and the brightest faculty members and students from all over the world. Do exceptional faculty attract exceptional students or vice versa? How has it been able to deliver compelling value for over 150 years? Find out in my book.

(Shail Kumar is the author of Building Golden India: How to unleash India's vast potential and transform its higher education system. Now. To find out more about the author and the book, visit:

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