Back in Session
This week the Texas Legislature gaveled in the 83rd Legislative Session and higher education will be one of the top agenda items discussed, debated and legislated during this Session. Cost, accessibility and quality are all topics of discussion, as well as the potential appointment of 16 regents to Texas university systems. Texas, of course, isn’t the only state where higher education is a hot topic. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities this week issued a report on the “Top 10 Higher Education State Policy Issues for 2013.” The full report can be viewed here, but the issues range from state support to college readiness and online education. Many of these same issues continue to dominate discussions in Texas. The Coalition will continue to be a thoughtful voice in any debate on higher education as we have since our inception in June of 2011. We believe in the critical importance of both teaching and research, we promote quality in higher education, and we support university leaders who have demonstrated their commitment to a culture of excellence and continual innovation. We also support the efforts of those universities that are working to achieve Tier One status, which would bring additional research and development capabilities, and create jobs and economic opportunity throughout Texas. This legislative session we will champion those efforts to improve quality education for Texas students and criticize any so-called “reforms” that will undermine the quality and integrity of our universities, especially our Tier One institutions.
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Texas A&M selected best for veteransMilitary veterans-turned-Aggies have made the best possible college decision, according to a ranking of nearly 1,400 colleges nationwide. Red Raiders aren’t too far behind. Texas A&M University in College Station was named the best school for veterans based on 19 different factors by College Factual, a website that crunches data on higher education to provide numerous rankings.This ranking aims “to help veterans and active duty service members to identify colleges that are likely to be supportive of them and their unique needs,” according to College Factual’s website.The factors considered in the ranking include affordability, veteran population, veteran flexibility, veteran policies, veteran resources and overall college quality.A&M had 1,213 undergraduate students receiving GI Bill benefits at the time the data was collected and participates in all four federal programs that help set the standards for veteran education, according to College Factual.
Three Texas universities in top world rankingsWorld university rankings are out and Texas has some bragging rights. The University of Texas at Austin, Rice University in Houston and Texas A&M University at College Station were listed in the top 200 public and private universities around the world, according to Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings. They ranked 28, 69 and 141, respectively.Last year, Times Higher Education had the same universities ranked at 27, 65 and 159. The University of Texas at Dallas was listed at 188 that year. But there’s also some sobering news. While the U.S. has more universities in the top 200 than any other country, its universities’ rankings have dropped most drastically. And the U.S. is 13th in “bang for the buck,” pointing out what parents and loan-strapped recent grads say often—higher ed is pricey.Continue reading