Donal O’Shea: Universities’ role in an innovation economy


I’m writing from Jerusalem, where the sun has just set on the lovely limestone buildings. With several other university presidents, I am touring Israel via the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange. Like the United States, Israel has an extraordinary diversity of higher educational institutions, although many are far younger than those in this country. There is, however, a shared understanding of how strongly higher education and Israel’s economy are linked, and higher education is well-funded. It is the nation’s fourth-largest budget item after security, K-12 education and health.

Given the growth rate and vibrancy of the Israeli economy, it is natural to wonder what the higher educational enterprise in the Sarasota-Bradenton region can learn from Israel.

Here are some impressions.