Take a look at the crowds that are gathering all over the country this month for commencement celebrations and you notice something that is unique to our time. Sitting in the bleachers across America are people from every corner of the world. They came to the United States to take advantage of an asset we hold that they were able to identify and seize: our higher education system.
Now it is time for our own policymakers and education professionals to identify and seize that asset as well. The days of old-school manufacturing as the foundation of our economy are long gone and, as we recover from an economic recession, it is time to stop bemoaning what has been. Instead we need to look for new avenues of economic prosperity that center on innovation and a working relationship with the rest of the world.
In an article in this month’s Harvard Business Review, our Director argues that higher education can be the export we need to strengthen our economy. The contribution in the form of tuition from foreigners may be negligible now in the greater scheme of things, but with the right decisions and a renewed focus on entrepreneurship education, the United States can boost its own economy while also benefiting the rest of the world.