Sunday, October 23, 2016

Investment in Spokane's University District brings Energy and Innovation

The Spokesman-Review published an interesting article on October 23, 2016, "Pieces finally in place for Spokane's University District to become innovation hub."  Reporter Mike Prager interviewed business people, academics, and city leaders to describe a successful three decade process of investment in the city's eastern side of downtown.  Prager describes a shared sense that Spokane is experiencing a burst of energy and activity from new startups and expansion of existing businesses that take advantage of the concentration of people involved in research and creative activities.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Vast Majority of Students attend College in Urban Areas

Richard Florida's article for The Atlantic's CityLab, "The Reality of America's College Towns," provides several interesting observations after combining population information from 750 locations with institutional enrollments.

Florida notes that the vast majority of college students in the United States live and attend school in large metropolitan areas.  Ninety-one percent (91%) of students attend college in cities of 100,000 or more population.  The other 9% attend college in locations under 100,000 population.

The article includes a couple of maps displaying the data and tables displaying the cities with both the largest numbers of students and highest densities of students as a percentage of the population.  The author concludes his article by noting that "...the perception of America's bucolic, ivy-covered college town experience is a misnomer for the large majority of college students."

Monday, August 29, 2016

Concentration of College Graduates appears to be Accelerating across the U.K. and Europe

Sean Coughlan, education correspondent for BBC, authored a post highlighting differences in the percent of population who are college graduated, "London is most educated city in Europe."  Eurostat data was used to display the differences across and within countries.  

Coughlan argues that the differences in the percentages of graduates can be quite wide.  He also notes that there is evidence the trend toward geographic concentration of graduates may be accelerating and the gaps may be growing.

OECD director of education, Andreas Scheicher is cited for commenting that the rise of "graduate cities" is the new normal and that arguments about whether there are too many graduates will soon appear very outdated.  Coughlan also comments that attention needs to be paid to how local economies can sustain higher concentrations of graduates rather than narrowly focusing on the numbers of graduates institutions can produce.

The article is part of a larger BBC series on Global Education.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Bard Microcollege Holyoke: Transforming Lives and the Community

Bard College and The Care Center are partnering to offer Bard Microcollege Holyoke.  The initiative offers a free two-year liberal arts program for young, low income mothers in Holyoke, MA.  

Vivian Wang of the Boston Globe interviewed students and representatives of Bard and The Care Center for her article, "Nation's first 'microcollege' opens in Holyoke."

Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY has a rich tradition of work with other organizations to expand access to the liberal arts and humanities.  The college has affiliated programs in New York, Chicago, Massachusetts, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Washington D.C., Seattle, and Arizona.  In addition, Bard has assisted other colleges and universities in establishing neighborhood humanities courses through the support of a Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (F.I.P.S.E.) grant.

The Care Center strives to transform the lives of students and the community through a rigorous program that combines the arts, education, and culture.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Beacon College: Serving Expanding Student Enrollment through Acquisition and Repurposing of Downtown Buildings

The Leesburg, Florida Daily Commercial reporter Roxanne Brown wrote a lengthy article, "Beacon College continues its march across downtown," focusing on growth and success of Beacon College.  Fall enrollment of just over 300 students is a new record and Beacon is achieving success with higher retention and graduation rates.  Brown interviewed Beacon president George Hagerty who shared information about the institution's commitment to downtown Leesburg and the investment Beacon is making to acquire and upgrade facilities.  I think it is particularly noteworthy that Beacon is expanding facilities through acquisition and repurposing buildings in Leesburg.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Economic Impact of Universities...a paper by Anna Valero and John Van Reenen

The Centre for Economic Performance of the London School of Economics and Political Science published results of a fascinating  study, "The Economic Impact of Universities: Evidence fromAcross the Globe," by Anna Valero and John Van Reenen.

The authors note that there are few studies exploring possible links between the presence of higher education institutions and the economic growth of the regions in which they reside.  In order to explore the possible ties, the authors developed a dataset with "...the location of nearly 15,000 universities in about 1,500 regions across 78 countries, some dating back to the 11th Century."  Their analysis then found there is a positive association between increases in the number of universities and future growth in per capita GDP.  Valero and Van Reenen conclude that "...the relationship between growth and universities is not simply driven by the direct expenditures of the university...Part of the effect of universities on growth is mediated through an increased supply of human capital and greater innovation."

Valero and Van Reenen included a lengthy list of references and and appendix with tables summarizing the results of their statistical analysis.  The appendices also include a number of charts for specific countries that permit comparison of changes in university density and change in per capita GDP.  Charts for Great Britain and the United States are duplicated below.

BusinessNH Magazine focuses on economic importance of diversity & the key role played by colleges and universities

BusinessNH Magazine offers an article by Melanie Plenda, "Colleges Key to Diversifying NH," that highlights the importance of diversity for the state and the key role played by colleges.  Plenda notes that New Hampshire business leaders see lack of diversity as an issue and are taking steps to improve the situation.
New England College and its president, Michele Perkins, are recognized for their successful efforts to significantly increase diversity of the student body, the largest increase among New Hampshire colleges and universities from 2010 through 2015.

Project Inclusion, an initiative of the New England Center for Higher Education designed to assess the institutional structures, policies, and practices around diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in New Hampshire's colleges and universities is also featured.