President's Blog

Global Competitiveness Requires World-Class Research Universities

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It’s common knowledge that the U.S. has the best research universities in the world.  And the numbers seem to support this claim: according to a ranking provided by Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, 85 of the top 200 are American—and George Mason University is one of them.  However, when you take population into consideration, the U.S. slips from first place to ninth, behind countries like Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Israel.

The reason why these numbers matter a great deal is the fact the number of top research universities per capita in any given country is strongly correlated with that country’s ability to compete in the global marketplace. Switzerland for example has the most top universities per capita, and it is also the world’s most competitive nation according to the World Economic Forum.  The U.S. is now ranked fifth in terms of competitiveness.

World-class research universities attract and educate world-class talent, they produce scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs who start new businesses and create new products, and they help attract companies in high value-added fields seeking access to a highly educated workforce. Talent attracts talent. Talent breeds talent.  Talent drives innovation and productivity.

(Read the rest of this article in the 2030 Group Blog)