- A new study from the University of Chicago's Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation shows that a majority of Americans look to colleges and universities to drive the nation's innovation imperatives.
- According to the survey, 71% of the respondents believe higher education to be a bigger factor in innovation than corporations or government, but they also said that the U.S. is behind other countries in research and development.
- With a sample size of 1,086 adults representing all 50 states, 61% of participants said that universities play “about the same role they have always played” in the future of innovation, but only 25% said that institutions are “leading the charge more than ever before.”
There is irony in a poll conducted by a major research institution revealing that most of the country looks to institutions like the University of Chicago for innovation, and that several indicators outlining the health of college innovation are considerably lagging in output and expansion.
First, most teaching methods in the STEM fields remain confined to traditional lectures, instead of adapting to new technologies and methods proven to spur student engagement. The U.S. is among the lowest-ranked industrialized countries when it comes to readiness for the age of automation, and many of the nation's campus-based innovation centers are still trying to find their footing on how to attract a diverse set of students to become the nation's future makers and designers.
These narratives do not inspire confidence in campuses' ability to meet the belief in their research and development resources, but they can provide the alarms for institutions to see plainly their shortcomings, and consider devoting resources to improving their approaches to innovation.