Aftermath of a Vote
As Prism went to press, U.S. voters had not yet chosen their next president, but few could have been oblivious to the stakes. In the United Kingdom, where a majority decided last June to pull out of the European Union, some of the stakes are only now becoming clear. As Tom Grose reports in our cover story, “The Big Breakup,” the pending divorce doesn’t bode well for Britain’s proud universities. Engineering schools, increasingly part of a global enterprise, could be particularly hard hit. They currently count on Europe for both a big chunk of their research budgets and for talent. According to the Royal Academy of Engineering, 22 percent of faculty members, 13 percent of undergraduates and 24 percent of graduate students at the country’s nine top engineering schools come from other EU countries. Without access to European research funding, “the UK is likely to become a less attractive destination for the brightest and best students and researchers,” a recent Academy report says. Will more British academics look to the United States for research support, making grants even more competitive? Will more European students and faculty try to come here? No one yet knows, but U.S. engineering schools may not be left untouched.
For-profit colleges were quick to recruit veterans eligible for post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits; non-profit and state universities, not so much. A U.S. Senate committee reported in 2014 that eight of the top 10 institutional recipients of the aid were large, publicly-traded companies that operate for-profit colleges. A number of academics argued at the time of the GI Bill that veterans of the Afghan and Iraq wars were a natural fit for engineering, given their combination of technical training, leadership experience, military discipline, and maturity. That turned out to be the case for some, but comparatively few. Why? Our second feature, “Underwhelming Force,” explores the reasons.
Elsewhere in Prism, check out Jenn Pocock’s “Maker Movement 2.0.” In ASEE Today, you’ll find important biographical information and personal statements from candidates for the 2017 election to the ASEE Board of Directors. In this Society, as in our nation, your vote matters.
We hope you find value and enjoyment in the November Prism. We welcome your comments.