February 12, 2014—A new report from the National Science Board confirms the United States is falling behind other countries and creating an innovation deficit. In addition, APLU continues to press Congress on patent reform and immigration.
The National Science Board (NSB) released its biennial report, Science and Engineering Indicators, that provides a comprehensive analysis of the state of nation’s position in science and technology. The relatedpress release notes that the “United States’ predominance in science and technology eroded further during the last decade, as several Asian nations–particularly China and South Korea–rapidly increased their innovation capacities.” The 2014 Indicators also includes a chapter that includes a focus on public universities expenditures and affordability.
The Senate Judiciary Committee continues to examine proposals to curb abusive practices in the patent system and university advocacy related to the legislation remains a priority. APLU is working closely with members, the Association of American Universities (AAU), and several other associations to develop specific language on a number of problematic proposals in order to alter those proposals in ways that address our concerns.
Republican House leadership circulated a one page document of “standards for immigration reform” to their caucus at a GOP retreat. The document states the House will not go to conference with the Senate-passed comprehensive immigration bill but that immigration reform may be taken up on a piecemeal basis. While the document is broad, it does endorse a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants who attain a degree as well as cites the need to increase visas and green cards for graduates of U.S. universities.
APLU is joining a number of higher education associations praising House leadership for offering the Immigration Standards and urging action this year. While the latest news from the House on immigration reform is not encouraging, APLU will continue to press for action on a comprehensive solution to our nation’s broken immigration system that includes the priorities of our nation’s public universities.