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For Immediate Release
Matthew Cookson, USNH, 603-862-0904 Matt.email@example.com
Chancellor – Higher Education Faces Many Challenges and Opportunities in 2008
Chancellor Reno provides an overview of higher education in NH to more than 400 attendees of Business New Hampshire Magazine’s Industry Forecast event
January 15, 2008 – Bedford, NH – The University System of New Hampshire (USNH) Chancellor Stephen Reno told an audience of about 400 that higher education will play a greater role in the coming years in supporting the state’s economy as it graduates more students to fill jobs that will soon be vacated by retiring baby boomers. Chancellor Reno provided the industry forecast for higher education as part of Business New Hampshire Magazine’s annual event that features leaders in several industries who provide similar forecasts for energy, health care, economic development, and real estate.
"Many members of the high school graduating class of 2008 will enroll in New Hampshire’s colleges and universities this fall and they will be confronted with challenges and opportunities including how to pay for college, and what type of education they will need in today’s global society," he said.
Chancellor Reno used the opportunity to update attendees on the 55% Initiative as well. This collaborative effort sets a goal at encouraging 55% of new college graduates to stay in New Hampshire as compared to the 50% that currently stay. He unveiled this initiative at the Industry Forecast event a year ago and reported that substantial data on who stays and leaves and why, is now available and that marketing students at several colleges and universities are developing marketing ideas this semester on how to encourage more new graduates to remain in the state.
Regarding demographics, he spoke of the fact that the state is currently at a peak in terms of high school graduates, but that new data shows that there will be a smaller drop off in terms of graduates than previously reported and that the peak is more of a plateau that will continue at current levels through 2010. He also talked about the need to create and promote quality internships to students and to create even better linkages with the business community to heighten awareness of the internship and job opportunities that currently exist in New Hampshire.
Another issue that will face higher education in 2008 is accountability, the Chancellor reported. "It became a buzzword in 2006-07," he said. "Many national efforts such as the spellings Commission focused on determining how higher education as a whole could become more efficient, more affordable, and more adaptable to changes in the nation and world in terms of the skills today’s college graduates need to have. The University System will be an active partner in this national effort in 2008 and our presidents have already been involved in discussions at a national level to help define voluntary standards."
A written summary of Chancellor Reno’s remarks can be found on the USNH web site at http://www.usnh.edu/media/press/docs/BNH-JAN08-IF-USNH.pdf.