higher ed

Useful Stats: “Eds and Meds” employment by metropolitan area

As explored in last week’s Digest, the presence of Eds and Meds institutions can positively influence the levels of human capital in a region, but the need to keep costs low can hinder their overall growth. SSTI’s analysis subsequently found that employment in Eds and Meds industries increased in every state from 2005 to 2015. This article looks at Eds and Meds employment for the largest metropolitan areas in the United States. Mid-sized regions in the Northeast like Rochester, New York (4.4 percentage points), New Haven, Connecticut (2.9 percentage points), and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (2.3 percentage points) experienced the largest growth in per-capita employment in Eds and Meds industries between 2010 and 2015.

Illinois governor proposes $500 million match for public-private research institute

In an effort to support research collaboration among the state’s largest universities, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed FY 2019 capital budget would provide $500 million for the University of Illinois Discovery Partners Institute in Chicago’s South Loop. The funds would serve as a state match for private donations from individuals, corporations, and other entities.

Recent reports highlight new findings on educational attainment

Three recent news items shed important light on educational attainment and economic well-being and one promising approach to increasing educational attainment among lower income people. While the Pew Research Center finds the share of college-educated young adults in the U.S. workforce is higher than ever before, the Economist reports that the “return on investment” in getting a college degree is leveling off.

Community colleges continuing trend to offer four-year degrees

This past summer Ohio joined a growing number of states that allow community colleges to offer four-year degrees when it enacted legislation allowing community colleges, state community colleges, and technical colleges to apply to offer applied bachelor’s degrees. If approved, the programs will join a growing number of applied baccalaureate degree programs being offered by community colleges across the country. The trend has met with resistance from some higher education institutions, while students and employers voice their support.

University-led strategies to retain international students beyond graduation

Due to their positive impact on entrepreneurship (31 percent of VC-backed founders are immigrants) and innovation (76 percent of patents from top 10 U.S. patent-producing universities had at least one foreign-born author) in the United States, many institutions of higher education are working to understand the opportunities, challenges, and gaps that exist in supporting international students from their first year of study through graduation, the job search process, and entry into the labor force. Institutions of higher education are seen as uniquely positioned to enhance international students’ employability as they provide access to work experience as well as cultural acclimation to increase the likelihood those individuals will remain in their host country after graduation.

Useful Stats: R&D expenditures at colleges and universities, by state

Last week, The Digest covered newly released data from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science Education Statistics, which found that for the first time in five years, federal funding for higher education research and development increased in both current and constant dollars. For the country as a whole, higher education R&D expenditures increased by roughly 10 percent from FY 2011 to FY 2016, while gross domestic product increased by nearly twice as much. This article examines state-by-state trends in R&D activity at colleges at universities.

National priorities outlined to improve higher ed outcomes

Asserting that the country’s future competitiveness is linked to a quality education, a recent report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education argues that the completion rate of students pursuing post-secondary education must be increased. The report, The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America, found that while nearly 90 percent of high school graduates expect to enroll in an undergraduate institution at some point, completion rates at those institutions average about 60 percent for students pursuing a bachelor's degree and 30 percent for students pursuing associate's degrees and certificates, with significant disparities within those categories by gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. To address the problem, three national priorities are outlined: improving students' educational experience; boosting completion rates and reducing inequities; and controlling costs and ensuring affordability.

After 4-years of decline, universities report increased federal R&D funding for FY 2016

For the first time in five years, federal funding for higher education research and development increased in both current and constant dollars, according to recently released data from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics within the National Science Foundation. In FY 2016, universities reported $72.0 billion in total R&D expenditures, a 4.8 percent increase from FY 2015. Of this amount, more than half (54 percent) came from the federal government. Institutionally financed research represented 16 percent, the second largest source of R&D funds at universities in FY 2016.

APLU: Reimagining technology transfer to reflect broader economic contributions

Beyond their traditional focuses on patenting and licensing, universities should reconsider how their technology transfer efforts can contribute more broadly to economic prosperity, according to a new report from the Association of Public and Land-Grand Universities (APLU) Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness & Economic Prosperity (CICEP). The report, Technology Transfer Evolution: Driving Economic Prosperity includes four briefs on topics relevant to redefining the field: engaging the local regional ecosystem; redefining expectations of tech transfer offices; adapting innovation management structures; fostering an entrepreneurial culture; and, supporting university startups. SSTI staff members contributed to the individual briefs and served on the commission’s advisory committee.

Evaluating research university importance requires multi-faceted approach

Since no single measure of performance can completely capture the important role that research universities play as drivers of economic growth in the innovation economy, a different approach is required, according to new research from BioCrossroads and TEConomy Partners.


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