Bloomberg’s Innovation ranking has the USA falling to 11th place from ninth mainly because of an eight-spot slump in the post-secondary, or tertiary, education-efficiency category, which includes the share of new science and engineering graduates in the labor force. Value-added manufacturing also declined. Improvement in the productivity score couldn’t make up for the lost ground.
“I see no evidence to suggest that this trend will not continue,” said Robert D. Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in Washington, D.C. “Other nations have responded with smart, well-funded innovation policies like better R and D tax incentives, more government funding for research, more funding for technology commercialization initiatives.”
US has been third tier in innovation and has education problems and there is no aggressive action for effective improvement
Nextbigfuture looked at several sources on this topic such as the National Science Foundation, Federation of American Scientists and Inside Higher Ed. There was no clear statistical trend indicating any sharp drop in the USA in terms of University programs, or employment of science and engineering grads. There have been mixed statistics with some being positive and some negative.
The conclusion that Nextbigfuture can draw without a detailed breakdown and analysis of the Bloomberg statistics is that the USA is treading water or have some declines and not matching improvements made by other countries.
Also, the 6th place to 12th place countries span scores from 79.12 to 81.91. The US is lagging in that third tier grouping with 80.42. 1.49 from getting to the top of third tier and 1.3 ahead of Austria.
The Second Tier is from 82.34 to 84.7 for 5th to 2nd place.
South Korea is well ahead with 89.28. South Korea lead over second place Sweden is almost as large as the gap between the USA and China.
In 2016, the US had similar scores.
Finland had a successful reformation of its education system some years ago. Sweden had success in the past and some recent problems. The main effort for success has seemed to be putting effort and resources into improving the teachers.
Background on the mixed statistics in the USA
The number of US-born students in STEM graduate programs started declining in 2008, and international students have been important in keeping program numbers up.
Graduate programs feed Silicon Valley, where more than half of tech workers are foreign-born.
Among institutions that responded to the survey, 68 percent cited the visa application process or visa denials and delays as a reason for declining new enrollments, up 35 percentage points from last year, and 57 percent cited the social and political environment in the U.S., up 41 percentage points from last year. Other factors cited included the cost of tuition and fees (57 percent of respondents also cited this) and competition from universities in other countries (54 percent).
Despite the 7 percent drop in new international students, the overall picture for this fall is mixed and suggests a divergence of trends depending on the selectivity, type and geographic location of a given university.
The most selective universities — those that admit less than a quarter of applicants — continued to report growth in new international student enrollments. The steepest declines in new international enrollments were reported by master’s-level institutions, where new international enrollments are down by 20 percent, and at associate-level institutions, where they’re down 19 percent. Institutions in the middle of the country — including the West South Central region, which includes Texas — saw steeper declines in new enrollments than did institutions on the East and West coasts.
In 2016-17, U.S. universities reported increases in the number of students from China (up 6.8 percent) and India (up 12.3 percent) — two countries that collectively account for about half of all international students in the U.S. However, the number of students from two other key source countries, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, dropped. The 14.2 percent decline in the number of students from Saudi Arabia was especially notable and is likely attributable to moves to scale back and retool the Saudi government’s foreign scholarship program, which has sent massive numbers of students to U.S. universities in recent years. The number of students from Brazil also declined by 32.4 percent, following an 18.2 percent decline the year before, reflecting the wind-down of another large foreign scholarship program sponsored by the Brazilian government.
The S and E workforce can be defined in several ways: as workers in S and E occupations (6.7 million), as holders of S and E degrees (23.2 million), or as those who use S and E technical expertise on the job (19.4 million). The estimated size of the S and E workforce varies depending on the definitional criteria chosen.
In 2015, estimates of the size of the S&E workforce ranged from over 6 million to more than 23 million depending on the definition used.
In 2015, an estimated 6.4 million college graduates were employed in S and E occupations in the United States. The largest S and E occupations were computer and mathematical sciences (3.1 million), followed by engineering (1.7 million). Occupations in life sciences (631,000), social sciences (570,000), and physical sciences (331,000) combined to about the size of the engineering component.
In 2015, about 23.2 million individuals in the United States had a bachelor’s or higher level degree in an S and E field of study. Of these 23.2 million individuals, the majority (17.3 million) held their highest level of degree (which can be a bachelor’s, master’s, professional, or doctorate) in an S and E field, the remainder held their highest level of degree in an S and E-related or non-S and E field. Of these S and E highest degrees, the most common fields were social sciences (6.8 million) and engineering (3.8 million). Computer and mathematical sciences (2.9 million), life sciences (2.8 million), and physical sciences (1.0 million) together were slightly less than the size of the social sciences component.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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