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Aloha from President Wright
with Chatt G. Wright

   

In a time of on-going concern about the health of the economy, it is good to consider the economic impact of higher education here in Hawai‘i and elsewhere. How do colleges and universities affect the local and national economy? In what way does HPU make a difference?

The role of higher education in boosting the economic well-being of individual graduates is well known. In addition, there is much evidence to show that colleges and universities also play a significant role in generating growth in the overall economy.

In a time of on-going concern about the health of the economy, it is good to consider the economic impact of higher education here in Hawai‘i and elsewhere. How do colleges and universities affect the local and national economy? In what way does HPU make a difference?

The role of higher education in boosting the economic well-being of individual graduates is well known. In addition, there is much evidence to show that colleges and universities also play a significant role in generating growth in the overall economy.

One recent study showed that about eight percent of the annual growth in the American economy in the 1980s and 1990s could be traced to the teaching and research conducted at our nation’s colleges and universities. The reasons for this positive impact are well established: education enhances the quality of the labor force and those quality improvements translate into higher levels of labor productivity and economic growth.

Hawai‘i has benefited dramatically from the contribution of education, especially post-secondary education. Today more than a quarter of the adults in the state have a bachelor’s degree or better, and it has been estimated that 14 percent of Hawai‘i’s economic growth in the years from 1959 (statehood) to 1989 was due to higher education.

Hawai‘i Pacific University has educated thousands of Hawai‘i’s citizens during its more than 35 years of teaching. Many of them have remained in the islands and helped spark economic growth here. Thousands of others have come to HPU to study for a period of time and then have gone back to the U.S. mainland where they have contributed to the economy there.

And of course, HPU has long been a leader in providing higher education to students from around the world. Those students too have returned to their home nations and made a difference in advancing economic conditions for their fellow countrymen.

 
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