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Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils

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Purdue University

United States

Home to over 40,000 enrolled students, Purdue University is a globally-recognized public research university that serves as a leader in science, technology, engineering and math. With an emphasis on academic excellence at a global scale, Purdue was ranked the top destination for non-US students studying STEM disciplines by the Department of Homeland Security in 2015. This scholarly prowess has further enabled the university to provide support to a growing array of student-organized startups and entrepreneurial endeavors.

Purdue boasts the 6th most startups based on university intellectual property of all US universities, and the university has established several programs to assist students as well as faculty members in creating and scaling up prospective businesses. The “Purdue Foundry,” Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, “The Anvil” and “Deliberate Innovation for Faculty” offer streamlined avenues to channel Purdue’s R&D capacity towards practical accomplishments in the private sector.

Purdue is an exciting addition to the GFCC community as we continue to foster a spirit of partnership between leading voices in the research, industry and policy worlds. In a rapidly shifting innovation landscape, the cross-sectoral experience of Purdue is an invaluable asset. The GFCC looks forward to deepening dialogue and collaboration with Purdue as we grow our network of forward-thinking leaders in innovation.

Mitchell E. Daniels Jr, President

At Purdue, President Daniels launched a series of initiatives called Purdue Moves that provide bold answers to some of the greatest challenges facing higher education today.  The four pillars of Purdue Moves — affordability and accessibility, transformative education, world-changing research, and STEM leadership — leverage Purdue’s historic strengths and promote investment in new ideas, guiding the university in its mission to deliver higher education at the highest proven value.

Daniels has made student affordability and student success top priorities, pledging to keep a Purdue education within reach for students and families. Breaking with a 36-year string of increases, Purdue commenced a series of tuition freezes in 2013 that will last through at least the 2020-21 academic year. During that same time, room and board costs were cut by 5 percent and have remained steady since 2013, resulting in an overall decrease in the cost of attending Purdue since President Daniels took office that year. A first-of-its-kind partnership with online retailer Amazon.com is also saving Purdue students an average of 31 percent on their textbooks each year.

Thanks to these and other efforts to reduce student costs where feasible, Purdue student borrowing has dropped 31 percent — leaving graduates and their families with some $57 million to invest in other dreams.

Daniels has also called for greater accountability in higher education, launching the Gallup-Purdue Index, a new method for measuring the value of a college degree. Other top priorities include accelerating growth in three areas that are key to the national economy and which support Purdue’s strengths (engineering, technology and computer science); infusing resources in selected areas of research, particularly plant sciences to feed the world; and facilitating commercialization of research.

Often called a “man of the students,” President Daniels can often be found eating dinner in a dining court, exercising alongside students at the campus recreational center, or chatting with students outside on a nice day. He also teaches a course each semester for students in the Honors College on one of his favorite topics, “The Great War and Its Continuing Aftermath.”