A new report from the US National Academies says that while American research universities do need more funding, they also need to be more streamlined and efficient and, ultimately, more productive, reports Zoë Corbyn at the Nature News blog. The Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation's Prosperity and Security report suggests 10 things universities should do to maintain quality in their research. "The list of remedies includes adequate and stable research funding from the federal government and more autonomy from the states so institutions can better navigate the tumult for themselves," Corbyn says. "Investments should be restored when state budgets recover, says the report."
But the report also says that universities need to provide a greater return on investment, she adds. For example, institutions should streamline operations, share resources like expensive equipment and facilities, and encourage more collaboration among researchers and institutions, the report says. "Other recommendations include more business involvement in universities, making it easier for international students and scholars to obtain visas and more federal investment to support young researchers," Corbyn says. "Universities should also take action to improve postgraduate completion rates."