higher ed

$35.6 billion invested globally in university spinouts between 2013-2016

June 15, 2017

Over the past four years, 1,668 deals involving university spinout companies from across the globe attracted approximately $35.6 billion from 2013 to 2016, according to a new report from Global University Venturing. The report, however, highlights that global deals peaked in 2014 with 529 deals and total investments dollars peaked in 2015 with nearly $14 billion invested. As the authors highlighted, these global numbers were unsustainable and 2016 saw significant declines in both deals and dollars. In 2016, the total deals reported were 407 (21.6 percent decrease from 2015) and dollars invested was $6.4 billion (a 54.3 percent decrease from 2015).

MI’s research corridor spurs state economy

June 15, 2017

Michigan’s University Research Corridor, an alliance of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, conducted $1.2 billion in academic R&D in the life, medical and health sciences, and served as a stabilizing force to the state’s economy as one of the only sectors that grew during the 2000s. Those are among the findings of the 2017 URC sector report, which was prepared by Public Sector Consultants. The report, Leading Discovery: URC Contributions to the Life, Medical and Health Sciences, notes that employment in the life, medical and health sciences sector, which accounts for one in eight jobs in Michigan, is up 18.9 percent since 2000, compared to overall Michigan employment, which is down 9.3 percent.

Tennessee reconnects with adult students, aims to boost workforce

May 17, 2017

Adults in Tennessee seeking to return to the classroom will have a new option for free tuition at community colleges, part of an expansion of the Tennessee Promise scholarship program. The newly passed and expanded Tennessee Reconnect legislation extends eligibility for free tuition to persons who have been out of school for longer periods of time or who may have never attended college. It is part of Gov. Bill Haslam’s “Drive to 55” focus, where he hopes to increase the percentage of the state’s adults equipped with a college degree or certificate to 55 percent; it is currently closer to 30 percent in Tennessee.

NY launches tuition-free college education for New Yorkers

April 13, 2017

On April 8, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the Excelsior Scholarship program will be included in the state’s FY 2018 budget, after having been approved by the legislature. In its first year, the state will commit $163 million to provide tuition-free options for New Yorkers from ‘middle-class’ families at the state’s public institutions of higher education. Under the Excelsior Scholarship program, students can attend any of the colleges or universities that comprise the State University of New York and the City University of New York systems. After completing their degree, the scholarship requires that recipients must work or live in the state after graduation for the same number of years that they receive support. Cuomo contends that over 75 percent of the state’s 940,000 families with college-aged children would qualify for the program.

State grants, partnerships focus on workforce needs in several states

March 30, 2017

Noting a growing need for additional education to meet workforce needs, several states have announced programs focusing on education and workforce needs, channeling state funding to grants that will focus on aligning learning opportunities with business and industry needs, or creating new initiatives in the private sector. Reaching a higher educational attainment among a greater percentage of the workforce by 2025 is also a goal set by several of the states.

Universities announce investment funds for local startups

March 22, 2017

While many universities maintain startup investment funds targeted at growing university-affiliated startups, several universities are looking beyond their walls for investment opportunities that will create a return on investment (ROI), but also support economic prosperity. Through these investment funds, universities are able to make strategic investment in startups that will contribute to the future growth of their community, region and state. Massachusetts provides a recent example where MIT will invest $25 million in local startups.

University research space growth slows, NSF finds

March 09, 2017

Research-performing institutions of higher education increased their science and engineering (S&E) research space by only 1.4 percent from FY 2013 to FY 2015, according to the biennial  Survey of Science and Engineering Research Facilities, the lowest two-year percentage increase since NSF started collecting the data in 1988.  In FY 2015, total research space reached 214.7 million net assignable square feet (NASF) – an increase of 2.9 milli

Innovations solving higher education challenges

March 09, 2017

In a world where disruptive innovation can change an entire industry, higher education has remained largely unaffected, according to a recent paper from The Christensen Institute. Innovations in higher education traditionally have centered on changes that allowed the industry to remain competitive and meet new challenges by pushing forward along established trajectories, such as building new buildings or adding new majors. But with technological changes moving deeper into the higher education field, traditional institutions are facing a greater challenge. As those institutions face rising tuition costs, declining state support and affordability issues due to weak wage growth, their business model is vulnerable to threats from larger disruptions. How they choose to respond may determine their future success.

University-industry collaboration drives academic productivity, openness

January 26, 2017

While some researchers contend that university-industry collaboration may corrupt the academic ideal of open sciences and reduce academic productivity, researchers from the London Business School (LBS) and University of Southern California (USC) found that university-industry research collaborations – in certain situations – can lead to more publications but fewer patents than similar academic studies without industry partners. These findings would indicate that such collaboration can actually stimulate open science and increase academic productivity, rather than weaken it.

Rhode Island latest state proposing free tuition

January 19, 2017

In an attempt to make college more affordable and accelerate the number of students completing degree programs in Rhode Island, Gov. Gina Raimondo has proposed a new program guaranteeing two years of free college for Rhode Island students. The program, Rhode Island’s Promise, would cover the entire cost of tuition and mandatory fees for full-time students who qualify for in-state tuition earning an associate’s degree and graduating on time from the Community College of Rhode Island. At Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island, the scholarship would cover tuition and fees for a student’s junior and senior years.

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