The University of Texas at Arlington is one of six universities nationwide to be named a "Next Generation University" in a new study published by the New America Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on public policy issues.
The list was created to highlight universities that are "models for national reform" and are "continuing their commitment to world class research while increasing enrollment and graduation rates, even as the investments from their states have declined," according to the Washington D.C.-based think tank. The Next Generation University report also includes several recommendations for universities nationwide.
The recognition follows a period of significant enrollment growth and rising academic and research achievements at UTArlington.
"We are making great progress as we have strengthened our research programs, enhanced academic services for our students and capitalized on online education platforms to reach new populations," President James D. Spaniolo said. "Our faculty and staff are committed to building on our successes and making sure our students have every opportunity possible to achieve their dreams."
The New America Foundation report is based on analyses of federal education data, site visits and interviews with University leaders. Its authors include higher education strategists and an editor-at-large for The Chronicle of Higher education. Others on the Next Generation Universities list include Arizona State University, University at Buffalo, University of California at Riverside,University of Central Florida and Georgia State University.
UT Arlington hit an all-time record enrollment of 33,806 in Spring 2013, and enrollment has increased 35 percent over the past five years. The University conferred more than 9,000 degrees in the 2011-2012 academic year, and awarded more than 4,500 degrees this May alone.
In the New America Foundation report, the authors lauded UT Arlington's use of online courses to attract students and its partnership with a private company, Academic Partnerships, to deliver online classes.
The report said: "Thanks to the online operations, Arlington now operates the nation's largest public university nursing school, with thousands of registered nurses who have two-year degrees streaming into the institution's bachelor's degree program. The nursing school enrolls more than 5,000 students online, compared to just 127 when it started the Web-based program in 2008."
The Next Generation University report was funded by a grant from the Lumina Foundation. It is available online at http://education.newamerica.net/publications/policy/the_next_generation_university_0.
About The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 33,800 students and 2,200 faculty members in the heart of North Texas and the second largest member of The University of Texas System. Research activity has more than tripled over the past decade to $71.4 million last year with an emphasis on bioengineering, medical diagnostics, micro manufacturing, advanced robotics and defense and Homeland Security technologies, among other areas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more about UT Arlington.