Study Group’s US partner universities named best maker schools

08 September 2021
Students working on a computer at DePaul University
Posted by Study Group

Study Group’s US partner universities named best maker schools

A recent report by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) found that international students are a significant source of talent for employers and play a critical role in filling the demand for high-level technical expertise in the US. Between 1998 and 2019, the annual number of full-time international graduate students in computer and information sciences increased by 310%, from 10,930 in 1998 to 44,786 in 2019. Consequently, international students are crucial to the US economy and due to a growing demand for courses, enable American higher education institutions to offer high-quality academic programs in science and engineering.

Global education provider Study Group works with eight universities in the US, to support international students to access high-quality tertiary education and employment opportunities. Recently, two of Study Group’s partner universities have been recognized for their commitment to technical education and learning by doing, with DePaul University and James Madison University included on ‘The Best Maker Schools Higher Education List’  for 2021.

This list, published by Newsweek and Make: magazine and books, is compiled of universities and other higher education institutions across the world in celebration of the Maker Movement in teaching, in which educators provide training in the tools and techniques of electronics and engineering, 3D designs and digital fabrication, and traditional craft skills. The Maker Schools list recognizes institutions for:

  • Educators who are committed to collaborative problem-solving.
  • Well-developed makerspaces, labs, and studios.
  • Diverse, interactive communities that emphasize knowledge and skill-sharing.

As noted by Newsweek, the list’s goal is to "highlight institutions with innovative programs that demonstrate the ingenuity and community engagement that are hallmarks of the maker movement.”

The makerspaces and labs at both Study Group’s DePaul and James Madison University (JMU) partner universities exemplify this level of innovation.

As Joshua Rubin, Study Group’s Executive Vice President for Higher Education in North America, explains:

“In addition to having many labs and research facilities, DePaul University features an Idea Realization Lab on both its Loop and Lincoln Park campuses in Chicago, and it is one of the first liberal arts universities in the US to open a makerspace.

“The Idea Realization Labs are student-run operations and feature a range of creative equipment, from laser cutters to 3D printers to a stop animation studio, for students to develop and launch their creative projects.

“Looking at the JMU X-Labs, undergraduate students from more than 35 different programs collaborate on projects for real-world clients. JMU promotes students’ development at the X-Labs as they gain experience, knowledge and skills in teamwork, leadership and meaningful problem-solving. The skills that these students learn really help them succeed in their careers, and JMU reports that X-Labs graduates earn up to 33% higher starting salaries than their peers.

“We are thrilled to partner with these creative and forward-thinking universities, which are equipping students with the practical and technical skills and know-how to get access to the wide array of employment opportunities with global technology companies based in the US.”

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