higher ed

Driving regional innovation with smaller institutions: SSTI Conference preview

This month, we begin a four-part series focused on navigating innovation priorities in a variety of settings. The series features perspectives from experts in the field, presented in a Q&A format. Each practitioner we interviewed will also be presenting at our annual conference, where these topics will be explored in greater depth. Click here for more information on the conference.

Pilot program matches researchers with economic and community development issues

Vibrant Virginia (VV), a new program from Virginia Tech’s Office of Economic Development, is offering seed grants as a way to encourage faculty and graduate students to explore persistent public policy challenges spanning the state’s urban, suburban, and rural communities.

University conferences aim to win with entrepreneurship

A new platform to match promising start-ups with experienced business executives, investors and startup mentors from participating school’s alumni ranks is reporting momentum. Following a year of development, the University of Kentucky last month announced the launch of the Southeast Executives-on-Roster (XOR) and the Midwest Executives-on-Roster (XOR) platforms, collaborations between regionally-partnered universities to broaden access to experienced entrepreneurial talent and match that talent to university-affiliated startups in need of executive management. SSTI learned more about the program through interviews with two of the universities involved.

Are academic science & engineering resources growing more concentrated?

Colleges and universities that conduct research and development around science and engineering are central to technology-based economic development strategies and are at the core of America’s innovation hubs. The distribution of science and engineering R&D at colleges and universities (S&E R&D) – already distributed unevenly across the country— appears to have grown radically more so since the Great Recession. In fact, SSTI analysis using data from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics reveals that approximately 60 percent of all new funds for S&E R&D at colleges and universities from 2008 to 2016 went to institutions in just three states: Maryland, California and New York.   

Useful Stats: Science and engineering R&D at colleges and universities, by state and metro area

Federal funding for science and engineering R&D at colleges and universities (S&E R&D) grew by $7.2 billion from 2002 to 2016, reaching more than $31.6 billion. This represents a 29.4 percent increase during the period, or approximately 2.0 percent per year, according to an SSTI analysis of data from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. Among states, California ($4.3 billion), New York ($2.4 billion), and Maryland ($2.3 billion) received the most in federal funds for S&E R&D in 2016, while Baltimore ($2.0 billion), New York City ($1.7 billion), and Boston ($1.3 billion) led among metropolitan areas.

APLU issues imperatives to improve economic development effectiveness

Recognizing that the global economic and science and engineering landscape is changing rapidly, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) yesterday issued a position paper in an effort to bring together universities and their federal partners and respond to the economic and community development needs of the nation.

Americans embrace spending on higher ed, believe in its benefits

The public holds an overwhelmingly positive view of public spending on higher education in the U.S., and they believe American colleges and universities benefit both society-at-large and individual graduates, according to a new research brief from Teachers College, Columbia University.

States launch more help for students in completing education

North Carolina and Tennessee are implementing new initiatives to get students in their states the help they need to either complete degrees or training that will help improve workforce development in those states. North Carolina’s governor recently added a new line of grants dubbed “Finish Line” grants, to help students that are struggling with non-academic problems complete community college.

Postsecondary education enrollment affected by economy

A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that while postsecondary education enrollment has increased overall between 1955 and 2015, it has increased and decreased during this long-term period of increase, reflecting changes in the economy. In particular, the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009 influenced significant changes in American postsecondary education enrollment, according to the report.  The number of students enrolled in college in the U.S. increased during the recession, and then fell during the post-recession years of 2012-2015. However, from 2006 to 2011, total college enrollment grew by 3 million, contributing to the overall growth of postsecondary enrollment during the Great Recession period.

Interactive tools chart migration of college graduates, international students

For the economic development community as a whole, the issue of retaining and attracting talent is of the utmost importance. While a visualization in a Wall Street Journal article looks at where graduates move after college, an interactive analysis by the Pew Research Center examines where foreign student graduates work in the United States.

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