Oregon’s Colleges And Universities Submitted A Report Recommending More Funding For Higher Education

According to a recent report commissioned by Oregon’s higher education officials, the state should give colleges and universities more funding since they are “key players” in boosting the economy and making college more accessible and affordable.

The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems’ research was requested earlier this year by the Oregon Community College Association and the Oregon Council of Presidents, a group of administrators representing state universities. Dana Richardson, executive director of the president’s council, stated that it cost $235,000. The Oregon Community Foundation, Ford Family Foundation, and the two college associations covered the cost.

The comprehensive 97-page “Oregon Higher Education Landscape Study” makes numerous recommendations, including developing a “clear vision” for Oregon’s future, lowering college costs for students, and fostering cooperation among Oregon institutions.

The study contends that by preparing Oregonians for higher-paying occupations, Oregon’s colleges and institutions would be better positioned to spur economic innovation and expand the state’s income tax base. However, according to writers, Oregon is “impeded by the lack of a coherent vision for the state’s future.” They suggest that decision-makers in Oregon create a state-wide economic strategy that prioritises higher education and takes advantage of the ways schools may support state expansion.

According to the report, “Colleges and universities are the state’s greatest assets upon which to create the new and better Oregon,” but doing so will require more significant investment and more focused funding than the state has previously been prepared to provide.

According to the study, colleges are also facing financial difficulties. According to the report, Oregon’s population of high school graduates is expected to remain stable but fall in other states where Oregon institutions recruit. Education prices are rising, but their tuition base is not. According to Oregon, which has pushed more of the cost of education onto students, other states appropriate more money to their four-year colleges than it does.

If schools collaborate on academic programmes and share administrative costs, the research claims they could deliver “better service at a lesser cost.” According to the study, they may also attract more students by collaborating with high schools to raise the state’s declining college enrollment and student retention and graduation rates.

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However, according to the authors, “the ultimate truth is that tuition revenue alone will not pay for the investments needed to create a better Oregon.”

According to the paper, more state funding might increase students’ access to higher education. According to the research, Oregon’s government could increase school spending in exchange for a pledge to keep or reduce tuition costs. Additionally, the study discovered that while Oregon’s financial aid programme is designed for students who have just graduated from high school, it doesn’t work well for community college students who are typically older and only enrol in part-time courses.

According to the report, it is in the state’s interest to ensure that students of all backgrounds can afford to attend college and stay there long enough to finish a course of study.

According to Sen. Michael Dembrow, a member of the joint task group of the Legislature on student success for underrepresented students in higher education, the study reflects feedback regarding affordability and the requirement to increase student aid. He said the task group will benefit from the report as it formulates recommendations for the 2023 Legislature.

He claimed it would aid in putting Oregon’s difficulties into a broader national context. “I think the emphasis on the relationship between the workers and Oregon’s economy comes across very clearly. We must grow to include non-traditional students to satisfy our workforce needs.

Ben Cannon, executive director of the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission, and Terry Cross, commission chair, expressed their satisfaction that the external assessment echoed goals the commission had already set, such as a focus on equity and student affordability.

To promote better equity and access for Oregon students, the commission proposed significantly increasing funding for student financial aid and sustaining money for a grant that covers the typical cost of college for members of Oregon’s federally recognised tribes.

But budget demands are still in the early stages, and the next governor of Oregon will have a significant impact.

Nagi Naganathan, president of the Oregon Institute of Technology and chair of the Council of Presidents, stated, “We are expecting this (report) will capture the attention of key decision makers. “This is about the role of higher education as a catalyst for social and economic mobility throughout the state, not just higher education itself,”

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