Here are a few relevant quotes...
"Today's students require a bevy of skills beyond their primary area of study. They need to write and speak well, embrace technology, understand personal and organizational financial management, relate to people of diverse backgrounds and have the skills to change careers during economic downturns or when particular industries decline."
"Every emerging power across the globe shares a unifying trait - they are investing in research universities and using the American system as a model."
"In these competitive times, we absolutely need to boost the ranks of educated people, who will be integral in providing solutions to the problems facing our society."
And the url for the whole article:
(it *was* written by the pres of an American university so there may be a little bias :-P)