Record Enrollment

Texas A&M has a record number of students enrolled this fall – 66,426. That figure includes 15,647 Hispanic and African-American students and nearly 6,000 international students. Nearly one quarter of the freshman class are first in their family to attend college. “Setting record enrollment is not one of our goals, but we are obviously pleased that so many young men and women want to pursue their college careers at Texas A&M,” said University President Michael K. Young.

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Pay it Forward

In an effort to increase access to higher education, schools around the state are changing policies to help students more seamlessly transition from community colleges to four year universities. Texas A&M recently formed a partnership with Austin Community College, just one of several colleges around the state that now serve as pipelines to the flagship’s engineering school. Co-enrollment programs have existed for several UT System institutions, and Texas State, Texas Southern and Prairie View A&M now offer programs as well. These programs help defray the cost of attending college, and serve as a less intimidating on-ramp for students who may have trouble finding initial success at a four-year institution.

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"They taught me how to learn and how to keep on learning.”

There are many ways to measure an institution. Often rankings subjectively measure topics such as “reputation” as determined by an institutions’ peers, or “best of” lists can emphasize everything from sports to Greek life to top academic programs. All of these measurements can help students determine the right academic fit for them, but a relatively new ranking highlights what an institution does for the world. And there’s nothing subjective about Reuter’s ranking of theworld’s most innovative universities, which measures an institution’s efforts “to advance science, invent new technologies and help drive the global economy.” The methodology used is an objective look at data including “how often a university’s patent applications were granted; how many patents were filed with global patent offices and local authorities; and how often the university's patents were cited by others.” And in this ranking, The University of Texas System just hit the number four spot – in the world – just behind Stanford, MIT and Harvard. This ranking affirms an earlier acknowledgement System researchers received this year for having the fourth most patents granted globally from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2015 – 191.
 

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Has the fight really cooled?

Thousands of people were on the UT Austin campus this weekend for the annual Texas Tribune Festival. Public and Higher Ed were in focus with a range of panels on topics such as access, affordability, innovation and sports, among others, as policymakers, newsmakers, higher ed leaders and advocates from across the state descended on the 40 Acres for the three-day event. The Daily Texan, Austin American-Statesman and Texas Tribune, among other publications, covered the higher ed conversations.

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The Aggies are coming to Austin!

“A UT education allows the sons and daughters of sales clerks and factory workers to one day own the store,” said UT Austin President Greg Fenves this week as he announced $15 million in additional aid for students of middle-class families. The goal of the new effort is to make a UT Austin education increasingly affordable and accessible to more Texas families.

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Latest Updates

  • A Momentum Changer

    The Texas Senate unanimously approved three new regents on Tuesday of last week. Janiece Longoria, Rad Weaver and Kevin Eltife were confirmed and sworn-in ahead of their first board meeting in Austin on Wednesday. Their appointments bring to a close what has been, at times, a tumultuous period for the Board, most notably because of the ongoing battles – legal and otherwise – brought on by outgoing regent Wallace Hall. The terms of regents Alex Cranberg and Brenda Pejovich also came to an end this week.

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  • State of the State

    In his State of the State address this week, Gov. Greg Abbott announced a state hiring freeze that included institutions of higher education. As noted by the Associated Press, the move “applies only to positions supported by money appropriated by the Legislature. That might allow campuses to use tuition dollars to pay for some positions while shifting appropriated funds to other college and university expenses.” In his remarks, Abbott also called on lawmakers to fully fund his University Research Initiative, which aims to recruit talented faculty to Texas institutions.

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