We recognize that the economic and social challenges we face today require more creative, adaptable, and team-oriented workers and citizens than ever before—and that our nation’s college and universities must ensure that preparing students to thrive after graduation remains the primary focus of higher education. As such, we have prepared this discussion document as a way to help us consider our overall agenda in the years ahead, and as a way to share preliminary ideas and invite feedback on potential topics. Our hope is that BHEW can assume a visible leadership role in measuring and understanding the value of public and private investments in higher education—for the benefit of all.
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|For Policymakers ||For Institutions of Higher Education ||For Businesses |
|BHEW is conducting analyses and crafting state and federal policy recommendations aimed at increasing the quality of higher education across the U.S., with a particular focus on helping prepare the next generation of scientists, engineers and technologically-savvy workers who can contribute to our 21st century economy and also enhance our societal well-being. ||College is becoming less affordable and less accessible for larger segments of our population—a trend that must be reversed if we are to meet the nation’s social, economic and cultural challenges. BHEW is examining strategies for: |
- increasing state and federal investments in higher education
- raising productivity and efficiency on our campuses
- closing the equity gap, and increasing the quality of STEM education and training in 2-year, 4-year and research institutions.
|The careers of the 21st century require highly skilled workers with strong technical knowledge and skills as well as the ability to solve problems, think creatively, work collaboratively and function as lifelong learners. |
BHEW is outlining strategies for better aligning higher education programs and curricula—at all levels, from 2-year colleges to doctoral programs—with regional and national workforce needs in order to prepare students for career success.
Events Calendar 2017
Quality in the Undergraduate Experience: What Is It? How Is It Measured? Who Decides? Summary of a Workshop (2016)
Students, parents, and government agencies need as much information as possible about the outcomes of the higher education experience and the extent to which they can expect a fair return on their investment in higher education.In order to better understand the concept of quality - enabling students to acquire knowledge in a variety of disciplines and deep knowledge in at least one discipline, as well as to develop a range of skills and habits of mind that prepare them for career success, engaged citizenship, intercultural competence, social responsibility, and continued intellectual growth - an ad hoc planning committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Board on Higher Education and Workforce, with funding from the Lumina Foundation, organized a workshop in Washington, D.C., on December 14-15, 2015.This report summarizes the presentations and discussion of that event.
Developing a National STEM Workforce Strategy: A Workshop Summary, March 2016
On March 7, 2016, under the auspices of a Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) planning committee, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a new workshop summary, Developing a National STEM Workforce Strategy: A Workshop Summary.
The workshop summary discusses how the future competitiveness of the United States in an increasingly interconnected global economy depends on the nation fostering a workforce with strong capabilities and skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). STEM knowledge and skills enable both individual opportunity and national competitiveness, and the nation needs to develop ways of ensuring access to high-quality education and training experiences for all students at all levels and for all workers at all career stages. Learn more about the workshop.
Promising Practices for Strengthening the Regional STEM Workforce Development Ecosystem, February 2016
On February 12, 2015, under the auspices of a Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) study committee, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a new report, Promising Practices for Strengthening the Regional STEM Workforce Development Ecosystem.
This report summarizes an 18-month study on improving higher education’s responsiveness to regional STEM workforce needs. It was conducted by a project committee under the auspices of BHEW, and was sponsored by The Helmsley Charitable Trust. The report’s primary audiences are business and university leaders, key intermediary organizations such as chambers of commerce and regional economic development groups, and state and local government policy makers. The information, findings, and recommendations focus on promising practices that can enable higher education and business to collaborate in sustainable ways that benefit students, universities, companies, regional economies, and national competitiveness. Learn more about the study.
Optimizing the Nation's Investment in Academic Research: A New Regulatory Framework for the 21st Century: Part 1, October 2015
The Committee on Federal Research Regulations and Reporting Requirements: A New Framework for Research Universities released Part 1 of their report, Optimizing the Nation's Investment in Academic Research: A New Regulatory Framework for the 21st Century, which reviews the federal regulatory framework for research institutions as it currently exists, considers specific regulations that have placed undue and often unanticipated burdens on the research enterprise, and reassesses the process by which these regulations are created, reviewed, and retired. The report identifies specific actions Congress, the White House, federal agencies, and research institutions should take to reduce regulatory burden. It urges Congress to create a public-private Research Policy Board to support the federal-academic research partnership and cooperative efforts to streamline research policies going forward, calls upon universities to demand the highest standards in institutional and individual behavior, and recommends a number of specific actions that are intended to improve the efficiency and harmonization of federal regulation and to reduce duplication.
Part 2 of the committee's report will be issued in Spring 2016.
Committee on Federal Research Regulations and Reporting Requirements: A New Framework for Research Universities in the 21st Century, April 2015
The second meeting of the Committee on Federal Research Regulations and Reporting Requirements: A New Framework for Research Universities in the 21st Century was held on April 16-17, 2015 at the Academies' Keck Center in Washington, DC. The committee is conducting a study of federal regulations and reporting requirements with specific attention to those directed at research universities. In conducting its analyses the committee will be aware of (a) the context and intended benefits and circumstances under which a particular regulation was issued and may have evolved, and (b) whether those contexts or circumstances still remain of public concern. The committee will develop a new framework for federal regulation of research universities in the 21st century that addresses the needs of Congress, federal agencies, and the broader public while advancing to the maximum extent feasible the missions of research universities.
Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Middle-Skilled Workforce Needs, Summary of a Workshop, November 2014
The Academies Board on Higher Education and Workforce was asked to assist the recently established Gulf Research Program in its planning around education and training issues. A summary of the June 2014 workshop—Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Middle-Skilled Workforce Needs—is now available. View the Workshop Summary to learn what key thought leaders from the region’s education and employer communities identified as key needs that might be addressed by the Gulf Research Program.
|Sponsors and supporters of BHEW projects and activities include: |
|• Department of Health and Human Services |
• National Endowment for the Arts
• National Endowment for the Humanities
• National Institutes of Health
• National Science Foundation
• Institute for Education Sciences
|• Alfred P. Sloan Foundation |
• Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
• Burroughs Wellcome Fund
• Elsevier Corporation
• Helmsley Charitable Trust
• Lumina Foundation
• National Math and Science Initiative
• Spencer Foundation
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