higher ed

Useful Stats: 10-year trends in higher ed spring term enrollment by state, 2012-2021

Understanding enrollment trends at the nation’s institutions of higher education — an important indicator of the knowledge capital and skilled workforce available to local innovation economies — is paramount in developing appropriate strategies to bolster local and regional innovation and entrepreneurship. While many institutional reports cover only one or a few years’ worth of enrollment data, evaluating long-run trends can help policymakers and program designers identify issues that might otherwise be hidden, enabling the development of more effective policies and programs.

Useful Stats: Higher ed spring term enrollment estimates by state, 2019-2021

Enrollment in the nation’s institutions of higher education is an important indicator of the knowledge capital available to local innovation economies. This edition of Useful Stats explores enrollment data from the recently updated National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC) report , Current Term Enrollment Estimates, covering spring term enrollment trends at degree-granting institutions of higher education.

Report: Better outcomes for students at Tribal Colleges and Universities with entrepreneurship courses

A new report from the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) highlights the impact of business and entrepreneurship courses at Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), which have long served as bastions of cultural identity at many American Indian and Alaskan Native reservations and important economic drivers in these prominently rural areas.

Useful Stats: Doctorate recipient labor force and R&D activities by field, 2015-2019

The overall employment outlook for the recipients of doctorate degrees earned at U.S. institutions has improved from 2015 to 2019, while the research activities conducted by these highly trained and educated individuals has started to shift away from basic and applied research activities towards activities focused on design and development. Doctorate recipients play an essential role in developing the knowledge base leveraged in creating new technologies and companies in the innovation economy. Understanding the employment trends of this vital group can help in crafting programs and policies to strengthen local innovation economies.

State leaders zero in on recovery in budget proposals, state addresses

As state budgets move into the legislatures for final negotiations and approvals, the last of the governors have addressed their constituents and put forth their proposals. While a renewed sense of hope is seeping into the latest addresses, governors are still cautious and guarded in proposing new programs. Broadband, small business, education and workforce initiatives continue to be among the innovation-related initiatives announced by the state leaders, with the intent that those efforts will also boost the economic recovery of the states.

Useful Stats: Higher Ed R&D expenditures and personnel in nonmetropolitan areas, 2019

Although the nation’s nonmetropolitan economies are less reliant on the R&D activity performed by institutions of higher education than the economies of urban areas, researchers in some rural areas show levels of higher education R&D (HERD) expenditures per R&D employee that are on par, or even exceed, their urban counterparts. Policy makers may wish to consider and prioritize the relative “outsized” importance of HERD funding and related research personnel in future policy decisions and public investments that are geared toward select smaller communities and rural places.

Useful Stats: R&D Personnel at Institutions of Higher Education by Metropolitan Area, 2019

The R&D performed at colleges and universities is an important driver for the innovation economy — generating new knowledge, spurring invention, training STEM talent, and supporting economic development. This edition of SSTI’s Useful Stats analyzes metropolitan-level data for 2019 from the National Science Foundation on higher education R&D (HERD) expenditures and personnel. Nearly 981,000 individuals in higher education across the U.S. were classified as R&D personnel in 2019. As shown by the green shading in the interactive map below, the metropolitan areas with the greatest total number of HERD personnel in 2019 were Baltimore, Maryland* (44,323); New York-Newark-Jersey City (43,103); Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California (35,796); Boston-Cambridge-Newton (35,587); and Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington (27,147).

Useful Stats: Higher Ed R&D intensity by metro, 2019

Metropolitan areas in the U.S. with fewer than 370,000 residents are more likely to be more economically reliant on R&D performed by colleges and universities than larger metros, according to new SSTI analysis. Three data points are used to consider how R&D at institutions of higher education is impacting a region’s economy: NSF’s Higher Education R&D (HERD) data on expenditures at individual institutions; metro area Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis; and population estimates from the Census Bureau. The resulting analysis shows that despite larger metro areas producing a greater total amount of HERD, they are typically less reliant on these expenditures directly powering their economies.

Useful Stats: Higher Education R&D expenditures by state and field, 2019

Given higher education’s role in generating the knowledge that catalyzes innovative new technologies developed by high-growth startups, R&D conducted at institutions of higher education is one of the most important metrics for evaluating an area’s innovation economy. This edition of Useful Stats examines NSF’s recently updated Higher Education R&D (HERD) survey, finding that most states, although not all, experienced growth in HERD expenditures from 2018 to 2019. This analysis also examines 2019 state HERD expenditures by R&D field, finding that life sciences accounted for the lion’s share of HERD spending in every state except Alaska, typically followed by either engineering; the physical sciences; or the geological, atmospheric, and ocean sciences.

USCCF calls for a paradigm shift in financing a competitive workforce

At a critical junction for the American workforce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) has launched a new initiative to develop new models for investment in the workforce of the future. Partnering with Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Talent Finance initiative advances a new public-private approach to talent development that is intended  to address the challenges and requirements of the new economy — one that competes on talent. In the wake of the pandemic’s upheaval of the economy, workers are facing greater uncertainty and the prospect of jobs that may not return.

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