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On Thursday, the Senate Higher Education Committee passed A-1668 (Schaer, Jasey)/ S-354 (Kean), which establishes the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Business Partnerships to foster innovation in New Jersey. The commission, which would include NJBIA as one of its members, would report annually on ways to stimulate academic-industrial collaboration in R&D and workforce development.

The legislation would also create an executive director who would act as an ombudsman, assisting business and industry in making the appropriate contacts in higher education to foster partnerships. By focusing on the life sciences, information technology and telecommunications industries, our state will support our high-tech sectors and continue our leadership in research and development.

Click here for NJBIA’s press release and my written testimony.

Also on Thursday, the New Jersey STEM Pathways Network (NJ SPN), initiated by the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, announced their first four communities in New Jersey to reimagine the delivery of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education for children in grades K-12. The program, which NJBIA helped develop, supports models of education that create an integrated plan to change the way many New Jersey institutions deliver STEM education so we can engage more students and prevent them from falling behind in math and science. Effective education practices and innovative models will be shared across settings in order to be replicated and to solve entrenched STEM learning challenges.

To learn more about the initiative and winners, click here.

On Wednesday, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Higher Education Committee Chair Sandra Cunningham announced the release of the College Affordability Study Commission final report. Comprised primarily of higher education institutions, the commission, analyzed the growing cost of higher education and what to do about it.

It concluded the state and higher education community’s need to do a better job guiding students from orientation to graduation through the implementation of common sense policies that reduce students’ time to receive a  degree. It also said students need greater access to information on the costs of higher education and the means to finance those costs.

To read the complete report, click here.

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