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04 NOV 2021
1. Ivy League endowment expected to rise exponentially in the coming decades
This year alone, the Ivy League added US$44 billion to its collective endowment across its 8 universities — and this number is projected to surpass $1 trillion by 2048. The education sector already represents a significant portion of the US economy. Princeton University, like many other large universities whose endowments grew dramatically in the last year, reported its growth was driven by a surge in its private equity portfolio and noted it is likely that this financial growth among educational institutions will invite change for public policy and legislative reforms. A spokesperson at Dartmouth explained, “spending from the endowment is the largest source of revenue for Dartmouth and supports student scholarships, financial aid, [and] groundbreaking research,” demonstrating the impact endowments make on universities and the benefits for students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding communities.
Crimson’s Take: Some of the best universities in the US are funded by enormous endowments that allow them to provide students with state-of-the-art technology, as well as fully equipped classrooms and libraries, highly regarded professors, and generous financial support. We’re glad on behalf of these schools to learn that their endowments have seen such growth over the last financial year, and we’re even happier to learn that so many of them have already committed a sizable portion of that increase to greater financial aid! As a company founded on the belief that a world-class education should be accessible to every qualified student regardless of their circumstances, we’re encouraged by this dedication to democratizing higher education.
2. University of Pennsylvania to accept Bitcoin: first Ivy League university to embrace cryptocurrency
The University of Pennsylvania has announced it will begin accepting Bitcoin as a tuition payment option for a new online program at its fames Wharton School, making UPenn the first Ivy League university and US business school to use cryptocurrency. According to a statement, the Wharton School will also accept other forms of cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and USD Coin. The option was announced with the release of the school’s Economics of Blockchain and Digital Assets course — for the time being, the cryptocurrency payment option is limited to the course alone. Kevin Werbach, the program's academic director, asserts that as blockchain and digital assets continue to grow, universities should aim to equip today's leaders with the practical know-how they need to use the technology as a solution.
Crimson’s Take: This is an intriguing development in the world of higher education and innovative technology, and as an EdTech company, we can particularly appreciate UPenn’s effort to make practical use of the driving force technology has to offer in higher ed. Further, this advancement could influence other universities and open them up to the growing number of students invested and interested in cryptocurrency.
3. An alliance of 29 prestigious global universities has pledged its support for goals outlined during the UN Climate Change Conference
The U7+ Alliance of World Universities, an international coalition of leading universities in 17 different countries, released a statement this week recognizing climate change as “a global challenge that presents serious threats to natural environments, human health, security and economic stability” and further committed to adopting recommendations relevant to higher education laid out during the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference. These include “ensuring that students have access to courses related to sustainability, climate and biodiversity” and “working to reduce university-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions” through several actions outlined in the statement.
Crimson’s Take: At Crimson, we acknowledge the very real threat posed against future generations by the climate crisis and know that one of the best ways to combat it is to equip young people with the tools and knowledge they need to thrive, and to make a concerted effort to reduce our carbon footprint — especially in densely populated places like college campuses. We admire the U7+ Alliance’s commitment to ambitious climate change action plans and targets, and would love to see even more universities around the world take similar steps toward a greener and more sustainable future.
4. New survey finds fresh grads are entering the most promising job market in over a decade
According to the 2021 edition of Michigan State University’s annual recruiting trends survey, the largest annual employer survey in the US, “the job market for new college graduates is rebounding from the COVID-19-driven decline” and “pressing hiring needs” alongside a “historically high quit rate” is making employers eager to hire new graduates. The survey found the top employment sectors are health services, education services, agriculture, transportation and construction, with hiring among people with bachelor’s degrees expected to jump by 15% over the next year. Starting salaries are also expected to increase according to roughly half of survey respondents.
Crimson’s Take: Being that so many students see a university education as an investment in their future careers, this is exciting news! The return on investment for a college degree can be sky-high, and the results of this survey show that the employment landscape is looking quite attractive for students that are soon to finish their education. Trends like these don’t often change dramatically over short periods of time, so we’re sure the next few years will follow suit — which is good news for students just beginning their university journey!