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Public universities in the South accounted for the entire nationwide increase in the number of doctoral degrees in education granted during the 1970's, according to an analysis by the Southern Regional Education Board (sreb).

During the same decade, however, Southern universities awarded 25 percent fewer doctorates in engineering than in the 1960's--a figure about on par with decreases nationally in the number of engineering degrees awarded.

But in education, the Southern states showed a 48-percent increase in the number of doctorates awarded. In public universities, more than 1,850 education doctorates were awarded each year by the end of the 1970's.

Southern public institutions granted 602 more education doctoral degrees in 1979 than in 1971, which was "almost precisely the increase for the entire nation," according to the sreb's analysis.

In addition, in the past 10 years, the Southern states began more new doctoral programs in education than in any other discipline.

"More than half of these were ap-proved in the past five years," an sreb bulletin on the analysis says, "so it is likely that these programs have not reached enrollment and degree-production levels. This could mean further numerical and propor-tional growth in education doctoral degrees."

sreb, a research organization based in Atlanta, serves 14 Southern states stretching from Maryland to Texas.

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