Archive for May, 2013

London Southbank university personalized timetable system

May 31, 2013

Is a web based timetable system that was developed to assist university students and staff conveniently access information on timetable changes as soon as the changes are made.
The system was developed as to solve the current timetable issues that are not being addressed by the current system.

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LESSON PLAN ANALYSIS

May 31, 2013

 

 

 

Poster: Speech

[Customer’s Name]

[Institutional Affiliation]

 

 

Problem/Motivation/Concept behind the Research

            Several times, I have heard news about terrorist activities and other organized crimes. From the news, I learnt that these criminal elements usually use forged passport documents to move across national borders and coordinate their activities, especially the recurring news about the U.S. September terrorist attacks of 2001 that imply machine-readable passports had insufficient security that criminal elements exploited. The idea about using technology was to enhance passport security beyond that offered by machine-readable passports. Therefore, I asked myself, how does technology counter passport fraud differently than machine-readable passports did? I also learnt that passport fraud still exists even with full implementation of technology in passport security. Thus, the problem I attempted to solve was to show the strength and weaknesses in using technology to enhance passport fraud to determine whether in overall technology was useful to enhance passport security despite incidences of fraud persisting.

Findings

I found out that technology helps counter passport fraud by design security features that are either too expensive to copy or too difficult to forge and RFID technology useful for authentication and detection of fraud. These two ensured that for a successful fraud, an individual has to scan and read data in a passport and forge the physical passport book, which is difficult without being caught.

Interview

            I used a mixed research approach for my methodology, which begun with the quantitative phase collecting data from secondary source (government agencies and previous studies on passport security) and them a qualitative phase using interviews. For the interview, initially I searched on Google using the key words “Adoption of ePAssport”, “Passport fraud” and “Passport fraud arrests” to identify countries that issue electronic passport and the incidences of passport fraud reported. I found the U.K, the U.S., Canada and Australia issued electronic passports and all had high incidences of passport fraud, therefore relevant to the study. However, I chose U.K. Border Agency, the U.S. Homeland Security because they had sufficient information and Passport Canada that had the highest incidences of passport fraud (17,000). Further, I chose Siemens Business Services and De La Rue as private companies providing passport security because Siemens formerly and De La Rue presently provide passport security to U.K. Border Agency; therefore, have relevant technical and experiential knowledge about passport security

            From each of the five participating institutions, I chose two participants making10 participants in total. I did not want a higher number of participants since my intention was to collect in depth information to explain how technology curbs passport fraud. Since I required qualitative data, I chose judgmental sampling for three reasons. To find employees whom I perceive to hold relevant and useful data, and that the employee would be available during the period of the interview and would be willing to participate. The questions I asked came from findings of the quantitative phase, for example: “How do you prevent clandestine scanning and passport cloning in electronic passports?” “What are the advantages of using RFID wireless technology in passport over contact technology that has been tested and widely used in ATMs in banks?” “What is the significance of moving the chip inside the back cover of the passport?” “While using the same technology increases passport security owing to ease of interaction between countries; isn’t it a security threat since one successful attack maybe replicated to all other electronic passports?” 

FORENSIC ACCOUNTANTS AND FRAUD BASTERS

May 30, 2013

Forensic Accountants and Fraud Basters

Forensic Accounting

Forensic accountants are experienced accountants, auditors, and investigators of possible fraudulent cases in a company. A certified forensic accountant must have a CPA, CrFA and have investigative skills (James, 2010). They are hired to look into financial documents in cases where there is suspicion of fraud, or help the company prevent these cases by straightening their accounts. They provide services in the following areas: accounting, bankruptcy, insurance claims, personal injury claims, tracking terrorism, and audits. They work closely with agencies during investigations and at times appear as witness in fraud cases. This field is very in important in identifying malpractices by the managers in the company.

Skills Required

A good forensic accountant is not just a good accountant because of the numbers. Any good accountant will definitely be competent in accounting matters, and produce accurate results under the GAAP. Potential forensic accountants need more than confidence and integrity in order to be effective at what they do, they need the following qualities and skills to do a good job.

Inquisitive:The accountant needs to enjoy complicated puzzles and brain teasers. This will help in ensuring there is vast interest to solve crimes and find the truth. They should be intrinsically motivated to find challenging cases and work towards solving them. Tracy Coenen, a forensic accountant says (Crumbley, Heitger & Smith, 2007), “Some people say I have a nose for fraud. . . . The more complicated the puzzle, the better I like it.” This clearly shows that she likes what she does and is always looking for challenging cases to apply her skills. This helps in promoting efficiency in the practice because the accountant is doing it for something more than just money.

Analyze and interpret financial statements and information

The forensic accountant should be willing and ready to go through a large number of documents in their quest to find answers. They should scrutinize the financial information with accuracy in order to find the missing links in the information available. They should be fast and accurate in order to meet deadlines. This information is usually required for investigative procedures and often relied upon in order to make decisions on different issues. They need to be detail oriented and look for mishaps in the financial data available.

Good communication skills: The forensic accountants will be brushing shoulders with other accountants and managers in the organization. This means they will have to possess good command of the language being used in the organization to help them interact with the managers and workers (Stuart, 2006). This will help in clarifying information which helps them in beating the deadline. They should also have good writing skills in order to represent the data to users. The accountants should know the methods used to report and represent the output of an investigation.

Law and investigative techniques: They need to have a background understanding on how the law works in the country. The forensic accountants sit for an exam on investigative techniques in order to get a certificate in fraud examination. This helps in digging up the required information and knowing where to look in order to save time. They should also be acquainted on the different methods of reporting criminal activities if they uncover any malpractices. Understanding the legal process will be vital for the accountants in case a company does not want to act on the findings from the investigations.

Tenacity and attention to detail: The accountants should be keen not miss any details in the investigation process. They should be resilient in the process to come up with the truth whether it’s negative or positive (Stuart, 2006). Their judgment should not be biased to always be out to uncover wrongs, but to make sure the available statements are a reflection of the organization’s performance. They should exercise persistence and scrutiny while they investigate any malpractices.

Role of Forensic accountants within a courtroom environment

Forensic accounting is continuously becoming a topic of interest in recent years due to the increase in high profile cases of individuals and companies being charged with fraud. Forensic accountants are tasked with the job to unravel any cases of fraud in the financial sector. The fall of Enron, WorldCom, and the rise in the number of Ponzi schemes highlights the importance of this section of accounting to the economy (Cited in Crumbley, Heitger & Smith, 2007)

The main role of forensic accountants in courtrooms is to act as a key witness in fraud proceedings. The accountants are the people behind the findings, so they are required to testify in court on the methods used to get the results, and give more information regarding the outcomes of an investigation. They also provide expert evidence and information for scrutiny by the attorney, judges, juries, and the lawyers (Stuart, 2006).

The accountants help the courts by providing information and breaking it down for solicitors to understand. Their opinion is expected to be unbiased to both sides of the team. This will help uphold their integrity and reliability in regards to the findings on a case.

Analysis of the legal responsibility of a forensic accountant while providing service for a business

A business faces different challenges in its daily operations, which can be from the workers, the market, and insurance companies (James, 2010). The services of the forensic accountant can be required by the business at any time if a case arises. The following scenarios clearly outline the requirement of the accountant when representing the company in different cases.

Personal injury claim: The forensic accountant has to represent the business by investigating the injured party’s financial claims. It has to be determined whether the injury fits the compensation criteria of the business. They have to investigate the doctor’s findings on the case and how it will affect the earnings of the business. Wrongful termination, death cases, and medical malpractice often require a written report and an experts witness testimony (Rusell& Gordon, 2010).

Partnership and shareholders disputes: In case of complains from shareholders, forensic accountants are often required to perform a detailed analysis on accounting records to trace, identify, and quantify the dividends the shareholders receive (Rusell& Gordon, 2010). This will help in retaining shareholders and attracting potential investors due to the transparency of the business.

Commercial damages: The forensic accountants are often required to be expert witnesses to any issues of lost profits or unjust enrichment. They represent the business in litigation matters involving disputes such as breach of contract, fraud, productive liability, construction claims and property infringement. They provide evidence in court that will support claims made by the business (Rusell& Gordon, 2010).

Business/Employee Fraud: The forensic accountants can trace lost funds, and investigate loss of assets by the business. They can also help in trying to retrieve these assets if they belong to the business and were wrongfully acquired by another party.

The forensic accountants are expected to be loyal while representing the company. They should not offer biased results or unlawfully be swayed away from their venture. They are expected to operate professionally and be discreet with their results (Rusell& Gordon, 2010).

Two cases where forensic accountants played an important role

The Enron case: The collapse of Enron played a major role in highlighting the importance of forensic accounting on large companies (Cited in Crumbley, Heitger & Smith, 2007). Enron had floated its share on the New York stock exchange and was seen to be performing well before its collapse. The managers of the company were giving false statements to the shareholders and attracting potential investors to buy the stock. This helped in maintaining a steady rise in the share price of the company. The shareholders had no idea that they were buying themselves into a loss making company. The company kept on feeding false information to the buyers before it was discovered by a financial analyst. After it was reported that the company was not making profits, the managers released another financial statement to the public on the profits they had made for that quarter. The company later collapsed and the managers awarded themselves large benefits for the scheme they had pulled off. However, forensic accountants were called to investigate the reason why the company went under. They found a lot of inconsistencies in the financial statements and the profits that were being reported. The managers were later hunted and taken to court, but some died due to stress from the crisis. This is one of the cases where investors lost millions of dollars to managers due to bad management practices.

The Sunbeam case: In 1997, a small appliances manufacturing company known as Sunbeam, exercised bill and hold (Crumbley, Heitger & Smith, 2007). This is when a company records sales for its product in the first quarter while waiting to deliver the product at a later date. In a typical situation sales are not recorded before the products are shipped out of the warehouse. Sunbeam was selling a huge amount of the products to other companies while the products were still in the warehouse. They recorded huge profits in their books but the products were still in their warehouse. This malpractice was unraveled by a financial analyst at Paine Webber investment firm, who devalued Sunbeam’s stock.

Even though bill and hold isn’t illegal, the shareholders felt cheated and filed a lawsuit against Sunbeam’s accounting firm. In the audit firm, Arthur Anderson reported that the books were accurate and in accordance with federal guidelines. It was later discovered that the audit firm had deals with Enron which questioned the credibility of their report (Crumbley, Heitger & Smith, 2007). The board of directors hired Deloitte & Touché to review the audit report by Arthur Anderson. This follow up showed that the numbers had been manipulated. The Securities and Exchange Commission later investigated Sunbeam, and the CEO Alfred Dunlop was fired and forced to pay $500000 in fines and millions to settle law suits. The CEO was banned from holding any public office after this scandal.

Conclusion

Forensic accounting is becoming a core part in business dealings every day, because of the increase in its practicability in the business environment. Companies are applying this practice to help boost transparency in the system of governance and retaining shareholders loyalty. The practice is being applied in more fields outside accounting to help solve disputes among different parties. A lot is expected from forensic accounting in the future as the business environment keeps on evolving.

 

 

References

Crumbley, D.L., Heitger, L.E., & Smith, G.S. (2007). Forensic and Investigative Accounting. London: CCH

James, A. (2010)DiGabriele, “Applying Forensic Skepticism to Lost Profits Valuations,”Journal of Accountancy, Retrieved 12 Sep 2012, http://www.journalofaccountancy.com;

Mark, N. (2011). Forensic Analytics: Methods and Techniquesfor Forensic Accounting investigations. New York. John Wiley & Sons

Rusell, L., & Gordon, V. (2010). Intellectual Property: Valuation, Exploitation, and Infringement Rights. Hoboken, N.J. Wiley

Stuart, P. (2006). A Moral Theory of White Collar Crime. Oxford. Oxford University Press

 

 

INTERNET TECHNOLOGY. Internet Technology Marketing and Security.

May 30, 2013

Internet Technology Marketing and Security

Introduction

Social media has become a central point of communication and connection in many business entities. The number of social media communication blogs is increasing at a higher rate. Many organizations have been able to embrace the new tools of communication. This paper examines some of the benefits and disadvantages of using social media in businesses. It also examines some of the businesses that have successful used the social media to market their products and the future impacts of social media on businesses.

Reasons for Popularity of the Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has gained ground among many business entities in the recent years. One of the companies that have shown success in use of the social media to market the products is Pepsi in its Pepsi Refresh project. There are other companies that have succeeded in this area.

Social media has been help in building communities. The social media help the organizations to reach out to the customers and share information to strengthen the community (Qualman, 2011). The organization that uses social media is able to create a deeper dialogue with the potential customers through the various blogs such as Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube among others. This enables the organization to be in a position to build a network of customers as they are able to access the features of the organizational product through the online means (Qualman, 2011).

Social media provide a platform for the organization showcase their products to the customers in a more informal way. The company is able to highlight to the customer what it offers to the market and what makes the organization’s products better than the other key players in the market or industry. Social media such as LinkedIn, Yahoo Answer and others provide the organization with a platform to have interactive sessions with the customers (Qualman, 2011). Companies are able to directly engage in responding to the customer questions to provide immediate feedback. The customers are able seek and get information that will enable them to have confidence when making their purchase decisions.

Social media marketing has received a wide acceptance among the corporate organization because it provides a cheap means of marketing the products (Qualman, 2011). It has the capacity to go beyond the targeted audience at extremely low costs as compared to other traditional media marketing. The information about the company and its products is able to spread at a very fast speed. With the increase number of social media users, it is the best platform for the organizations to reach out to their customers without incurring significant costs (Qualman, 2011). The benefits are much more compared to other marketing media.

Advantages and the Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing for Entrepreneurs

Many business entrepreneur use the social media to market their products because of some benefits that accrue to the business. Such benefits will accrue to the organization when it uses social media effectively (Business Link, 2012). However, these entrepreneurs should also be aware of the some of the disadvantages of using social media as a platform for marketing.

Advantages

Effective use of social media for marketing will grab the attention of the potential customers and increase the visibility of the product or brand. The company has to relay the relevant content of the products so that may appeal to the potential customers. Through the social media, the company can institute an immediate response to the developments that have taken place in the industry. The social media marketing is also relatively cheaper compared to other traditional marketing and promotional activities. The activities of the social media such as sharing of information enable the organization to reach a large number of potential customers at no cost. Social media also forms a good platform for the customer service provision. They enable the organization to provide the customers with immediate feedback. The sales are also likely to improve since the company is able to reach out to the consumers through new channels (Business Link, 2012).

Disadvantages

Marking through social media also has its challenges. The organizations that use social media marketing may find it difficult to deal with issues such as negative feedback since some feedback may have to be made public (Business Link, 2012). For instance, sharing a bad experience with the company’s brand on the company’s social network profile can adversely affect the brand image.

The other challenge that companies face when using the social media is the measurement of the results. The business may not be able to track some of the marketing and promotional activities so that they may be in a position the results of such activities. Social media does not offer the standards of measure on which their performance can be measured. Tracking the results may be difficult and the result may not be easily compared to the costs incurred. It will be difficult for the company to quantify the return on investment and the value of one channel over other channels (Business Link, 2012).

The management of a social media account may sometimes be time consuming. For a social media campaign to be successful, the organization has to ensure that there is constant interaction with the customers on the ground. Therefore, many business entrepreneurs have to set aside time and resources that will ensure that the company is able post engaging information, ideas and tips and respond the customers or followers comments (Business Link, 2012). In cases where the company is not able to conduct constant interaction with the customers, it would suffer reputation damage.

Assessment of Social Media Marketing on Customer Insight at Pepsi

The Pepsi two layer social media market had great impact on customer insight. The campaign that the company conducted was able to generate unprecedented user interaction (Stanford GSB, n.d). A large number of people were able to to submit their ideas through the social media accounts such as Refresh Project Facebook account or page among others. The company was able to connect more consumers with its brand. For instance, it was able to connect the with more than 3 million Facebook users that liked its fan page by posting on the users News Feeds (Stanford GSB, n.d). Social media interaction with the potential customers helped the company to generate a greater brand for a large number of people.

Pepsi managers believe that the project is likely to pay off in the future despite its underperformance in 2010 when the project was launched. The company intends to make the project more effective by making improvements in the areas such as response to the customers complains. The company has continued to use the social media to reach out to the consumers by allowing them to vote their favorite products. This helps the company to determine the strengths of each brand of product that trade in the market. Pepsi has used the social media to drive its marketing at the point of sale. This has been done through launching of a social vending machine that enables the consumers to easily interact with the brand through a touch screen (Stanford GSB, n.d). The social vending machine even allows the consumer to send drinks to third parties such as friends who are notified through a personalized text message.

Companies that have Used Social Media to their Advantage

Ford Corporation

Ford has been one of the companies that have used the social media to establish its brand. Ford has done the best job when it comes to using social media to regain ground with the consumers. The company was able to achieve what normally cost auto marketers millions to achieve through social media for only $5 million (Seoblog, 2012). The company was able to create brand recognition among the customers. The company has been able to market different products through social media. One of the products that the company has used social media to market is new 2012 Ford Fusion (Seoblog, 2012).

The company was able to integrate the social media efforts. This has been done through pulling together of various social media channels such as Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and Flicker among others. Their social media allow its users to choose the kind of content that they want to use or view. The company makes use of many social media sites to perform different activities such as uploading photos and sharing of documents among others.

Ford has been using the social media to launch new product, showcase features of a particular item or provide useful data (Seoblog, 2012). They have been able to use applications such as custom app to promote new product such as 2013 Ford Fusion. This gives the users an impression of how the use of the car will be in real life situation. Many consumers are able to join the products whose promotional strategies have been conducted through the social media. Through the social media the company has been able to provide the entertainment through integrating the videos with adverting of various products. A good example of the product that the company has been able to provide entertainment that is integrated with advertising is the new Ford Focus (Seoblog, 2012). These videos provide a good source of entertainment for the customers.

How Best Buy has Used Social Media Marketing for Success

Best Buy is one of the companies that have utilized the social media marketing programs to increase its customer base. It has been branded at the forefront of social media and has adapted to the new form of communication to the customers. It has been using various social media tools such as blogs, social networking, forums and video to build its brand awareness among different consumer segments (Bullas, 2010). They have also helped in keeping consumers updated about the new products that are available in the market and any other relevant information such as feedback. The company has been able to effectively manage their customer relations.

Best Buy has used to the social media to facilitate communication or interaction among its staff and consumers. They has been able to implement programs such as Geek Squad Forums and Best Buy Community that facilitate the exchange of idea, information, opinions and tip with one another so that they are able to move in the same direction as an organization (Bullas, 2010). It has established an electronic suggestion box that known as Best Buy Loop Marketplace that enables the employee to put across their suggestions. It has also managed to put in place a MySpace Community site called Blueshirt Nation which enable the employees have a continuous connection through their emails, short message services and the web (Bullas, 2010). This has enabled the employees to share important information that enable them to improve performance.

Besides the internal social media channels that are meant to help employees to coordinate the tasks and share essential information, the company also has external social media channels that help the organization to connect with its customers and other stakeholders. The company uses different blogs such as Twitter and Facebook among other social media. It has been able to use Twitter to provide customer service and announce special programs or offers that are available. They have also encouraged their employees to spread the Best Buy brand and have been able to use several Twitter accounts to provide customer service (Bullas, 2010).

The company has also used facebook to provide a range of contents of their products. It has been able to attract over 1 million followers or fans on Twitter who are able to share different positive comments about the company to build its brand and reputation among the diverse customers (Bullas, 2010). They are able to interact with their fans through the facebook fan page. Best Buy has also established innovative Facebook tabs that are used to search for products; ask for gifts from facebook friends and provide links to some of its other initiatives (Bullas, 2010).

Impact of Social Media on Business in the Future

The impact of social media is expected to be great on the business in the next one decade. The social media is expected to evolve as many consumers embrace digital media for communication and conducting various transactions. The customers are becoming deeply engaged in carrying learning about various products to the social or digital media (Barrett, 2012). They use multiple channels to ask questions about products give feedback and share information that is available.

Companies are expected to grow exponentially as result of the growth of the social media use in the business. The more channels that will accelerate social communication among the businesses and their customers are likely to accelerate at a higher rate. It is argued that it is those businesses that are able to adapt and cater for the connected consumers will be able to remain in the business in future (Barrett, 2012). Some companies that are not able to adapt are likely to become extinct.

The use of social media is likely to grow in the view at the workplace and even the organizations that have been resistant will have to embrace the social media use among their employees for ease of communication and coordination.

Conclusion

Social media plays a very crucial role in the today’ business. Many businesses have embraced the social media as away of communicating and connecting with the customers. There are several companies that have improved in their performance through the use of social media. Social media is expected to play a greater role and many businesses are expected to adapt to the use of social media. Those companies that will not be able to adapt to the new technology are likely to become extinct.

 

 

Reference List

Barrett, J. (2012 May 2). The Future of Social Media: CrushIQ CEO Tim Moore. Retrieved on September 11, 2012 from http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/status-update/2012/may/2/future-social-media-crushiq-ceo-tim-moore/

Bullas, J. (2010 May 26). How Best Buy Energized 170,000 Employees with Social Media. Retrieved on September 11, 2012 from http://www.jeffbullas.com/2010/05/26/how-best-buy-energized-170000-employees-with-social-media/

Business Link. (2012). Online Business Networking and Social Networking: Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Social Media. Retrieved on September 11, 2012 from http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?itemId=1081912566&type=RESOURCES

Qualman, E. (2011). Socionormics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business. 2nd Edition. Hoboken, N.J. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Seoblog. (2012 Sep 1). What We Can Learn from Ford’s Social Media Campaigns. Retrieved on September 11, 2012 from http://www.seoblog.co.za/social-media/what-we-can-learn-from-fords-social-media-campaigns/

Stanford GSB. (n.d.). The Pepsi Refresh Project: Social Minded, Social Media on a New Scale. Retrieved on September 11, 2012 from http://faculty-gsb.stanford.edu/aaker/pages/documents/PepsiRefreshProjectCase2011.pdf

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER WITHIN TRIBAL COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES: A DELPHI STUDY

May 30, 2013

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AT TRIBAL COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES: A DELPHI STUDY

 

Table of Contents

List of Tables xi

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

Background of the Problem 2

Statement of the Problem 3

Purpose of the Study 4

Significance of the Problem 5

Significance of the Study 6

Significance of the Study to Leadership 7

Nature of the Study 8

Overview of the research method 9

Overview of the design appropriateness 10

Research Questions 11

Theoretical Framework 12

Definition of Terms 13

Assumptions 14

Scope and Limitations 15

Delimitations 16

Summary 17

Chapter 2: Review of the Literature 18

 

 

 

List of Tables

Table 1 6

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Introduction

Technology transfer is the act of commercializing research project results through contracts with private industry partners (Powers & Campbell, 2009; Bloom, 2011). In addition, technology transfer can also resonate from private industry and government agencies into higher education institutions for further research and development (Powers & Campbell, 2009). There appears to be a lack of formal mechanisms to protect and transfer the intellectual property that result from research at tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), and therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore the issues surrounding technology transfer at TCUs.

The focus of this study is on technology transfer activities at TCUs, and through the research activities the potential issues surrounding technology transfer within the target group of 37 TCUs will be explored. Technology transfer occurs at TCUs just as in other institution of higher learning, but the lack of revenue-generating technology transfer agreements needs further exploration. According to Burnside and Witkin (2008) there are barriers preventing collaborative agreements between universities and industry in regard to technology transfer. The secondary objective of this study is to develop cost and efficiency models that can improve technology transfer functions for TCUs.

1.2 Background of the Problem

Research and innovation is increasing within the nation’s TCUs. The intellectual property produced by TCUs that may have commercial applications or other economic benefits appears to be underutilized (Powers & Campbell, 2009; Heher, 2005). The intellectual property developed at TCUs may be transferred to the private sector through other methods. The purpose of this research study is to determine the issues pertaining to technology transfer and identify approaches that can best provide TCUs with expanded opportunities for building external relationships as well as revenue from joint ventures, collaborations, spin-offs, or licensing agreements. The focus upon revenue in technology transfer activities should not be the primary reason, as according to Golob (2006) universities that strive for revenue generation produce fewer spin-offs than those institutions that focus on local economic development.

The majority of TCUs serve the residents of remote Indian Reservations and in most cases TCUs drive the economic development within their communities (Cunningham et al., 2000). This research examines various technology transfer approaches that TCUs can use to enhance their institutional research capabilities and local economic impact. According to Drucker and Goldstein (2007) “Technology transfer programs, university-industry partnerships, and educational curricula tailored to match the skill demands of local knowledge-based industries provide just a few examples of such economic development programs” (p. 21). The economic development opportunities that TCUs contribute to their local economies and that are associated with technology transfer must be further explored. According to (Fogarty, 2007) attention to the local economy by TCUs is a primary concern and any benefit that a TCU can make to the local community is in the institution’s best interest.

1.3 Statement of the Problem

Based upon the current literature, there is a significant gap in the amount of information in regard to technology transfer and the protection of intellectual property that results from basic and applied research at TCUs. The specific problem is the lack of policy and protection in regard to technology transfer at TCUs. The existence of formal and informal technology transfer processes at mainstream universities will be explored to determine how these processes can assist the needs of TCUs (Markman, Siegel, & Wright, 2008). The quality, quantity, and cultural significance of basic research at TCUs are increasing(Corbyn, 2011). The study will explore how TCU technology transfer may provide economic, educational, and other societal benefits to the reservation communities. In addition, TCUs need to consider policy and procedures to protect culturally sensitive findings that may be part of a research project.

Technology transfers not only flows out from institutions, but technology transfer can also flow back into institutions through joint ventures, collaborative research projects, or contracts from government agencies, other institutions, and private corporations. The Salish Kootenai College (SKC) established an educational partnership with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) that will support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and research related to digital acoustic sensors (Sanders, 2011).

1.4 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this Delphi study is to investigate technology transfer activities at TCUs, explore conditions that contribute to potential technology transfer, and present a cost and efficiency model that can improve technology transfer functions for TCUs. The Delphi approach is the best design for this study because the format permits the ability to survey the opinions of key stakeholders at the TCUs, such as presidents, vice-presidents, and researchers about issues surrounding technology transfer. Technology transfer policies could provide a TCU with expanded opportunities to build external relationships and revenue from joint ventures, collaborations, spin-offs, or licensing agreements. Formalizing the technology transfer process at TCUs could provide a catalyst to appropriate economic development on the reservation (Contreras, 2007). In addition, policy can be established to protect culturally sensitive findings that may be part of a research project.

The study will involve all 37 TCU members of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC). AIHEC is an organization created by the first six TCUs in 1972 to advocate, lobby, and support the interests of American Indian higher education. Membership in AIHEC is restricted to tribally chartered TCUs and headquarters for the organization is in Washington D.C. The 37 AIHEC member institutions targeted in this study are located in 15 states with a majority of the TCUs in the Midwest.

The Delphi approach in this study will begin with a survey to gather initial information in regard to current technology transfer activities at 37 TCUs. The initial participation group will be TCU administrators, researchers, and instructors from all 37 TCUs. This initial survey will be a web-based questionnaire designed to gauge the level of understanding of technology transfer. A second survey will be conducted to further explore areas of consensus among TCU participants. The third and final survey will be interviews with key TCU stakeholders to drill down on specific issues pertaining to technology transfer. The results will be analyzed against formal technology transfer approaches to determine possible methods that would be appropriate for TCUs. Leadership at TCUs may find this study significant because innovation and research is a growing area and without explicit knowledge about technology transfer policy and strategy needs to be part the institution’s strategic plan.

1.5 Significance of the study

The lack of technology transfer agreements within the TCU community indicates a need for an in-depth study into what may be hindering this process. The reason for exploring TCU current technology transfer activities and the attitudes and opinions of TCU stakeholders is to determine effective mechanisms TCUs can use for technology transfer. The leadership at some TCUs may influence the type and level of research at the institution. The results of this study may provide TCU leadership with a better understanding of technology transfer and the benefits and issues surrounding the mechanisms and procedures.

There has been no study on technology transfer at TCUs and given that technology transfer has been a part of mainstream universities since the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862 (Duemer, 2007) the exploration of the possibilities for TCUs is needed. The level of technology transfer at universities within the United States has increased substantially after the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 (Siegel, Veugelers, & Wright, 2007; Dai, Popp, & Bretschneider, 2005).

The Bayh-Dole Act provided higher education institutions with protection that reduced the risk of theft and misuse of intellectual property that resulted from research funded by federal sources (U. S. Government Accountability Office, 1998). Developing a technology transfer model, which is a secondary objective of this study, can provide TCUs with benefits beyond immediate financial return; this model also has the potential to increase enrollment, boost collaborations, expand degree offerings, and enhance the reputations of these institutions (Lowe & Quick, 2005).

Understanding the issues and procedures involved with technology transfer from the perspective of faculty and administrators may cause TCU leadership to further investigate how technology transfer can benefit not only their institutions but also their community. The 37 TCUs in this study have leaders with varying styles, backgrounds, and visions. Through this Delphi study, leadership traits will be explored to determine the effect upon technology transfer.

The study is significant to all Native Americans as technology transfer can lead to local economic, educational, and societal benefits. As research activity continues to grow within the TCUs, the opportunity for collaborations with industry also continues to grow. The exposure of the quality of the research will need to be disseminated to attract the attention of industry leaders.

1.6 Research questions

The research questions are designed to solicit feedback that can provide perspective toward answering the questions. The below given research questions guided this study;

RQ1: Has intellectual property from TCU research projects transferred to the commercial sector?

RQ2: Does the TCU leadership promote technology transfer opportunities from research projects?

RQ3: What would be an appropriate technology transfer process for a TCU?

RQ4: What local economic benefits could result from technology transfer activities at TCUs?

1.7 Research aim and objectives

The purpose of this study is to investigate technology transfer activities at TCUs, explore conditions that contribute to potential technology transfer, and present a cost and efficiency model that can improve technology transfer functions for TCUs.

Research objectives

In order to attain the set research aim, the researcher will pursues the following study objectives:

  1. To understand whether intellectual property from TCUs research projects has been transferred to the commercial sector

  2. To establish the potential local benefits that could result from technology transfer activities at TCUs

  3. To find out whether TCU leadership promotes technology transfer opportunities from research projects

  4. To establish an appropriate technology transfer process for a TCU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

2.1 Introduction

Mitasiunas (2011) notes that innovation process has two important components, which are invention and successful implementation. Thus, knowledge and successful diffusion of the knowledge resulting in the invention or development of new products or services is very important. Mitasiunas (2011) states that often inventions are made in institutions of higher learning as well as research institutes. These inventions have to be turned into successful innovations by transferring them to organizations that have adequate marketing experience, global presence, as well as real implementation power, a process known as technology transfer (Vyakarnam, 2012).

Technology transfer entails transfer of technology from academia to industry and from “internal corporate technology to the international technology level” (Mitasiunas 2011, p. 5). Mitasiunas (2011, p. 5) defines technology transfer as “the process of sharing of or acquiring/providing/licensing skills, knowledge, technologies, intellectual property, technology development personnel or entire teams, methods of manufacturing, samples of manufacturing and facilities among governments, companies, research institutions and other organizations to enable accessibility of scientific and technological developments to a wider range of users who can then further develop and exploit the technology into new products, processes, applications, materials or services”. Campbell and Powers (2009) define technology transfer simply as the act of commercializing research project results through contracts with private industry partners. This is similar to academic technology transfer which the University of California (2009) defines as the transfer of research results from the institutions of higher learning to the commercial marketplace for the public benefit. It can also come from the private industries or government agencies into the institutions of higher learning for further research and development (Campbell & Powers, 2009).

The University of California (2009) states that the transfer of new technology from laboratories of institutions of higher learning to the private sector has had a long history and has taken diverse forms. Nezu (2007) and Reichman (2005) note that university-industry partnerships in the field of science and technology face complex issues which range from publication of research results, technology/information exchange and denials of access research outcomes, data or materials, to contractual agreements. Tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), which are chartered by their respective tribal governments (American Indian College Fund, 2012), are a special group of the institutions of higher learning affected by these issues surrounding technology transfer. As noted by Nezu (2007) protection and licensing of intellectual property rights have been identified as a major problem facing institutions of higher as regards technology transfer. According to Vyakarnam (2012) although many institutions of higher learning have set up technology transfer offices, most of these offices are often under resourced and managed by people without any particular commercialization expertise to effectively manage their intellectual property rights.

2.2 History of tribal colleges and universities (TCUs)

According to Chandler (2010)the first tribal colleges were established in the late 1960s following the civil rights movement and the American Indian ‘self-determination’ movement of the 1960s, which advocated for provision of post-secondary education which would strengthen reservations as well as tribal culture without assimilation. According to the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators (2010) they were set up with an aim of increasing access to higher education for the youth living in reservations, who according to the committee had no other means of accessing education in higher learning institutions. Therefore, their main goal is to provide higher education for Native American students without compelling them to adopt mainstream white culture and that is why they are primarily located in rural reservations (Chandler, 2010; Gipp & Warner, 2009). Their curriculum focuses on English literature, mathematics, science and technology. TCUs “combine personal attention with cultural relevance in such a way as to encourage American Indians, especially those living on reservations, to overcome the barriers in higher education” (National Caucus of Native American State Legislators 2010, p. 11).

Most of the TCUs began as affiliate colleges of mainstream colleges and universities through articulation agreements (Gipp & Warner, 2009). Chandler (2010) notes that although these institutions have unique history, each one of them began as a two-year institution with open admissions policies. Today, several of them offer four-year degrees while a few offer graduate and master’s degrees, but most of them have remained two-year institutions offering certificate and associate degree programs (Chandler, 2010; Gipp & Warner, 2009). The first tribal college to be set was the Navajo Nation, now Diné College, in 1968 (American Indian College Fund, 2012; Gipp & Warner, 2009). Soon, other tribal colleges followed in South Dakota, North Dakota and California (AIHEC, 2010). By the 1980 20 TCUs had already been established (AIHEC, 2010), and by 2010, there were 36 TCUs in 14 states (AIHEC, 2010; Harmon, 2012). Initially, not much scientific research were conducted in the TCUs as most programs were vocational training focused for certificate levels, and besides, classes were frequently taught by tribal elders as well as other non-traditional faculty members as the institutions sought to promote tribal culture and local economic development (Gipp & Warner, 2009)AIHEC, 1999). However, today these institutions have become centers of Indian research as noted by (AIHEC, 1999). The impact of the Bayh-Dole Act has had an influence in promoting research activities in these institutions (University of California, 2009).

2.3 History of institutions of higher learning technology transfer

The University of California (2009) reports that technology transfer, which is closely linked to fundamental research activities in institutions of higher learning, began as early as the 1920s. By early 1920s, some universities in the US were already “moving science from the laboratory to industrial commercialization”, and that is when academic technology became a formal concept (University of California 2009). The concept is said to have originated from a report that was entitled “Science – The Endless Frontier” that was written by Vannevar Bush for the president in 1945 (Atkinson & Pelfrey, 2010, p. 2; University of California 2009). According to the University of California (2009) at that time, the success of the Manhattan Project had shown the significance of research to the US national defense. The report recognized the importance of university research in enhancing the economy as it would increase the flow of knowledge to the industry by providing support of basic science (Atkinson & Pelfrey, 2010). It is this report that inspired the continuing increase in funding of university research by the federal government (Atkinson & Pelfrey, 2010). It also stimulated the establishment of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health, and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) (University of California, 2009). The 1960s and 1970s saw significant increase in researches; however, there was also the debate on federal government patent policies (Flening, 2010). People were concerned that there was no government-wide policy as regards ownership of inventions that were made by government contractors as well as grantees under the federal funding (University of California, 2009). The lack of government-wide policies led to inconsistencies in policies as well as practices adopted by the various funding agencies and this in turn gave rise to “a very limited flow of government-funded inventions to the private sector” (University of California 2009). Flening (2010) and the University of California (2009) note that the federal government held ownership to about 28,000 patents in 1980, and out of these, “less than 5% were licensed to industry for development of commercial products”.

Part of this problem was because of the restrictions that were imposed on the licensing of new technologies as well as reluctance on the side of the agencies to authorize ownership of inventions to rest on universities as well as other grantees (University of California, 2009). The federal government was not willing to give up ownership of federally funded inventions to the organization that had made the invention except in exceptional cases where the organization would petition and the case having gone a lengthy and difficult waiver process (Flening, 2010; University of California, 2009). This meant that the government retained title making these inventions available through non-exclusive license to any organization that or person who wanted to use them (Flening, 2010). As expected, companies were not willing to invest in and develop new products since competitors could also obtain licenses which would allow them to manufacture and sell the same products (Flening, 2010; University of California, 2009). Consequently, in 1979, legislators and administrators concluded that it would be beneficial to enact a policy that would allow “the licensing of new inventions from universities to businesses that would, in turn, manufacture the resulting products in the U.S” (University of California 2009). This led to the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act, allowing colleges and universities to immediately begin to institute policies and systems, and to develop and strengthen their internal expertise required to effectively administer their research commercialization related activities (Flening, 2010). Flening (2010) notes that since then, the US Congress has passed several policies to deal with technology transfer as well as means of promoting it.

Technology transfer has been an integral part of research in mainstream universities since the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980 (Atkinson & Pelfrey, 2010). Flening (2010, p. 41) notes that prior to the 1980s, most institutions of higher learning had “avoided direct involvement in the management of patents and chose to outsource this to third parties”. Thus, research results as well as knowledge was transferred freely from institutions of higher learning through faculty consulting, publications, conference presentations, as well as through the movement of trained graduates (Flening, 2010). The Bayh-Dole Act provided higher education institutions with mechanisms to protect and control intellectual property that resulted from research funded by federal sources (Atkinson & Pelfrey, 2010). Technology transfer between institutions of higher learning and industry has occurred at various levels throughout the years, but until the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980, the process was very restrictive in regard to the funding of research through federal funds (Bloom, 2011). Upon the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act, a substantial increase in number of patents issued and revenue generation resulted in large research universities (Flening, 2010; Drucker & Goldstein, 2007). However, a majority of TCUs have not had the opportunity to implement formal technology transfer policies and procedures, instead concentrating on basic economic development activities (Fogarty, 2007).

2.4 University-industry research collaborations

According Flening (2010) university-industry research collaboration as well as technology transfer has had a long history in the US. The primary mission of US universities from their early days has always been to produce graduates with skills needed to spur local economies (Bramwell, Hepburn & Wolfe, 2012). According to Bramwell et al. (2012) early university-industry research collaboration was mostly motivated by the local orientation of an institution’s educational mission. Reichman (2005) notes that from the beginning, “US universities undertook teaching and research in very practical fields” since they were not training graduates just for governmental service. Reichman (2005) also notes that there is a “unified national market for faculty at… research universities” in the US (Reichman, 2005). As such, there is a very competitive situation where a professor’s status is achieved based on the number of researches one has accomplished in his or her field; a strong inter-institutional mobility as well as strong competition among universities for resources, prestige plus students. It is these structural characteristics that led to strong university-industry ties early on (Reichman, 2005). These ties had emphasized on commercial application irrespective of formal intellectual property protection (Reichman, 2005). Besides, there was also rapid dissemination of research results as university graduates moved into the industry (Reichman, 2005).

Although the various forms of university-industry interaction that we see today began before World War II, it was in the post-war period that explosive growth in US research and development as well as expansion of the role of university in research was witnessed (Flening, 2010). Reichman (2005) notes that the federal support for university research grew from around $150 million a year in 1935-1936 to about $2.1 billion in 1960. According to Reichman (2005) the collaboration between universities and new industries intensified as Silicon Valleys together with analogous research parks were built around universities were established in Massachusetts, California, and North Carolina among other areas, although only a few industries relied on university researches as their main source of inventions. Such industries included engineering and scientific instruments industry, biotech and pharmaceuticals industry, semiconductors and other new areas in engineering. However, as noted by Reichman (2005) it was until the 1970s that the “universities began to take keen interest in patenting and management of their own patent portfolios”.

During the 1980s, the federal government implemented several measures to facilitate the commercial use of scientific knowledge/inventions that were in the hands of universities. As noted earlier, the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 is one of the legislations that were enacted for this purpose (Flening, 2010). The Bayh-Dole Act authorized institutions of higher learning to “retain intellectual property ownership over any new knowledge that resulted from publicly-funded research activities and, where possible, to commercialize that knowledge through licensing to industry or to start-up companies” (Nezu 2007, p. 9). Immediately after the enactment of the Act, colleges and universities established wholly new technology transfer offices as well as teams with legal, business together with scientific backgrounds that would allow them to effectively engage in research activities in collaboration with the industry and other funding agencies (Flening, 2010). The University of California (2009) states that the Act provided a strong incentive for university-industry research co-operations.

Reichman (2005) notes that the Act increased patenting at a number of major universities and with time, “many more became active in the patenting of federally funded research results”. to the International Development Research Centre (2011) note that today institutions of higher learning collaborate with the industry through technology transfer. Today, industry support for research and development at institutions of higher learning represents less than 7% of the aggregate funding of institutions of higher learning-based research (University of California 2009). The University of California (2009) adds that even though the industry funding is very small as compared to the federal agencies’ 60%, this investment in the creativity of institutions of higher learning, including students, their teachers and staff, drives a form of technology transfer that has become increasingly important to industry. The principles and provisions of the Act have made investments by the industry rest on secure footing. As such, several indicators of university-industry interactions have shown continuing rapid growth as “technology transfer offices become more proficient” (Reichman, 2005).

2.5 Tribal colleges and universities and technology transfer

One of the benefits that were reported by the president of Institute for Higher Education Policy to the Committee on Indian Affairs, US Senate that sought to find justification for funding to TCUs, is technology transfer (Committee on Indian Affairs, 2007). According to the International Development Research Centre (2011) American universities, particularly TCUs, were highly focused on agriculture, the mechanical arts, as well as regional economic industries, mainly on functional pursuits and not just basic research. However, as noted by Campbell and Powell (2009) research and innovation have been increasing in TCUs in the US but intellectual property that could have commercial applications or other economic benefits has been underutilized. The Committee on Indian Affairs (2007) emphasized the need for further collaboration between TCUs and major research universities to promote science and technology at TCUs. Levine (2009, p. 6) states that TCUs where academic research is commercialized and technology transfer occurs through patents, licensing, as well as university-based business startups will be a sine qua non for economically struggling regions and cities. As such, forging partnerships with local businesses as well as commercializing university-generated inventions/knowledge has become of the core missions of modern institutions of higher learning (Levine, 2009).

Levine (2009) notes that university-industry research collaboration is ‘triple helix model’ which involves partnership between university, government and industry in promoting in a global knowledge economy through technology. According to Hill and Lendel (2007, p. 224) “science-based and technology-based economic development policies are attempts to build absolute regional economic advantage, or competitive advantage, in industries that emerge from the laboratories of universities or academic hospitals”. Research at tribal colleges and universities have become cornerstone institution for local firms by generating commercially relevant research which they then transfer to the private sector targeted by the nation’s development policy (AIHEC, 2009). Matthews (2011) notes that university research-industry partnerships allow the two to share intellectual capital as well as access to emerging technologies. The benefits of these partnerships to the industry include “more research-intensive activities and increased involvement in high-risk research activities” (Mathews 2011, p. 4).

TCUs partner with various organizations and companies to enhance and promote their research activities and technology transfer. Among them is the National Science Foundation (NSF), a federal agency formed to promote technology transfer (University of California, 2009), which aims to promote engineering programs and activities in these institutions. The NSF provides funds to the TCUs to help them establish their own collaborative centers or centers of excellence based on their individual strengths with the aim of engineering expertise as well as best practices regarding engineering programs and innovations (Phelps, 2006). The NSF programs which promote university-industry relations as well as technology/knowledge transfers includes the Science and Technology Centers (STCs), the Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRs), and the Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) (Mathews, 2011). These institutions provide funding for research in areas of industrial interest.

The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) plays a very important role in promoting technology transfer in TCUs as it provides the leadership and influence necessary for promoting and strengthening research activities and technology transfer (AIHEC, 2009). According to AIHEC (2012) it “serves its network of member institutions through public policy, advocacy, research, and program initiatives to ensure strong tribal sovereignty through excellence in American Indian higher education”. AIHEC has signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States Department of the Interior (DOI) with an aim of working together to fulfill the mandate of each institution (AIHEC, Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) & DOI, 2011). Among of the objectives of this partnership is to strengthen and sustain the TCUs capacity to participate in DOI research and technology transfer in areas such as natural resources, clean and renewable energy, as well as other sciences/fields critical to the DOI by fully integrating TCUs into the DOI’s bureau programs, resource opportunities and services (AIHEC, BIE & DOI, 2011). The assistance that the DOI will provide to TCUs include research and facility support, loaned executives as well as teaching and research faculty, technology infrastructure and support, and technology transfer to these institutions (AIHEC, BIE & DOI, 2011).

The AIHEC also partners with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Tribal Colleges and University Program (TCUP) which supports various activities designed to build the capacity of TCUs to provide high-quality Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) programs and conduct NASA-relevant research (AIHEC, 2009). In addition, the AIHEC partners with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and the American Indian Research and Education Initiative (AIREI) to support and provide community-based energy research and technology transfer projects (AIHEC, 2011).

Even though most research projects and technology transfer activities at TCUs and institutions of higher learning general are being funded by federal and state agencies, it is evident that intellectual property from TCU research projects have been transferred to the commercial sector (Matthews, 2011). Maynard (2012) notes that TCUs have been involved in numerous research projects such as NASA’s Tribal Colleges and Universities Project. However, one major concern is the relatively low patenting academic institutions. Mathews (2011) notes that although there has been an increase in patenting as well as licensing by academic institutions as a result of research, this is mainly concentrated among a selected number of universities and colleges. An analysis of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities copyright information supports Matthews (2011) observation. Only one TCU in Minnesota State, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, has intellectual property coordinator and office (Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, 2012).

2.6 Technology transfer activities at TCUs

TCUs are implementing formal technology transfer policies and procedures, and for that reason, some of them have set up intellectual property offices with intellectual property coordinators at their institutions to deal with patenting related issues (Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, 2012). Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (2012) notes that the presidents of these institutions appoint intellectual property coordinators to provide faculty and staff on various intellectual property issues which include; “whether a work is protected by copyright; whether and to what extent a work may be reproduced; how to go about obtaining permission to use a work; negotiating royalties, licenses and fees; and the application of copyright law to distance education settings”. In addition, the intellectual property coordinators also “maintain copies of permission authorizations received from copyright owners and also advise presidents of these institutions if a notice of copyright infringement is received” (Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, 2012).

A sample data sharing and ownership agreement by the Center for Indigenous Health Research for the Northwest Indian College is an indication that the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 is helping TCUs retain ownership of their research outcomes especially in technology transfers (Center for Indigenous Health Research, 2012). The Center for Indigenous Health Research (2012) provides a data sharing agreement sample which TCUs use to guarantee the ownership of research outcomes and dissemination (intellectual property rights). The document guarantees TCUs intellectual property rights regarding the publication or commercialization of research findings (Center for Indigenous Health Research, 2012). These agreements are aimed at protecting TCUs from unauthorized research data or findings sharing and giving TCUs ownership and control over data and research findings (Center for Indigenous Health Research, 2012). It also requires research to abide by the TCU’s processes of engagement in the research among others (Center for Indigenous Health Research, 2012).

2.7 Research and technology transfer activities in TCUs: a case study of Diné College

AIHEC (2009) notes that TCU faculty are involved in research in various fields including advanced manufacturing processes, community health, archaeology, hydrology, environmental science, entymology, aerospace engineering, and molecular cell biology. Perhaps some of the technology transfer activities at TCUs can be demonstrated by research activities at Diné College. All intellectual property activities at Diné College are handled by the Diné Policy Institute which also handles all the policy issues for this institution (University of New Mexico, 2007). According to the Diné College (2012) the Diné Policy Institute integrates Western (modern) research practices with traditional Navajo values and natural laws. Its Land Grant Office develops and implements research aimed at promoting agriculture and food science (Diné College, 2012). Its current research activities include Tsaile Watershed Research Project, Nutrition for Young Children, and Navajo Textile Project among other research projects (Diné College, 2012). It is also undertaking Uranium Education Program aimed at examining “health issues arising from the environmental impacts of uranium mining on the Navajo nation” and P20 Project which began in 2006 and is being done in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center (Diné College, 2012). To enhance research activities aimed at promoting technology transfer, Diné College uses the Navajo Dryland Environments Laboratory at Shiprock Campus to carry out its research projects in the environment sciences, geology, chemistry as well as environmental technology (Diné College, 2012). It also collaborates with WERC, which “is a consortium for environmental education and technology development”, Navajo Nation division as well as other researchers and institutions such as ATSDR and NIH-RISE to engage in environmental research (Diné College, 2012).

2.8 Potential local economic benefits that could result from technology transfer activities at TCUs

National Caucus of Native American State Legislators (2010) notes that TCUs contribute significantly to the economic development of reservations especially in areas important to the reservation communities such as health services, business and rural farm development. Fogarty (2007), Hsu (2009) and Matthews (2011) also acknowledge that technology transfer activities at institutions of higher learning have potential benefits to the economy especially industries, a fact supported by the Endogenous Growth Theory (Levine, 2009). According to the Endogenous Growth Theory, the stock of knowledge as well as technological innovations are the major determinants of economic growth rate of a region or nation (Levine, 2009). Hsu conducted a study where he examined “the effect of aggregate technological innovations on expected market returns and premiums”, and concluded that technological innovations determine the aggregate wealth of an economy (Hsu 2009, p. 1). Hsu (2009, p. 2) notes that patent data are more informative as compared to a firm’s research and development data in many aspects: one, they are realized innovations which are ready to be used for business interests; two, the territorial principle, especially that of the US, governing patented data / research results make them more precise proxy of a nation/region’s technological progress; and three, patented inventions/research results “are intangible assets most actively traded in intellectual property markets”. Thus, patented data or research results increases the technological innovation of a firm thus raising its productivity and profitability and in turn, that of the economy (Hsu, 2009).

One area in which technology transfer activities at TCUs have impacted the local community (TCU-communities) is agriculture. According to Chandler (2010) most TCUs are located on remote reservations where agriculture among other economic activities is major. The Navajo nation for example practices agriculture (Diné College, 2012). According to Brenner and Buckhalt (2006) the Office of Technology Transfer in the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Agricultural Research Service, which partners with TCUs in agricultural research projects and technology transfer activities (AIHEC, 2009), facilitates transfer of research outcomes for the benefit of the public as well as the agricultural industries in the local community and the US a whole. Brenner and Buckhalt (2006) note that many of these research outcomes are patented and normally developed through partnerships involving learning institutions, government agencies and private-sector industries. The ARS incorporates technology transfer in its research mission to protect intellectual property when it is necessary to facilitate technology transfer; however, it permits public releases of plant varieties and does not patent animals (Brenner & Buckhalt, 2006). This is done for public good in support of the local communities agricultural businesses (Brenner & Buckhalt, 2006).

According to the sample agreement document by Center for Indigenous Health Research, community engaged in the research project also has to benefit from the research findings (inventions) especially if it is a community-based participatory research done in collaboration with a TCU (Center for Indigenous Health Research, 2012). Therefore, before the research findings are published or commercialized, the applicant must indicate how the TCU community that was involved in the research project stands to benefit and how it will have “access to the project, research data or findings for the TCU’s own use” (Center for Indigenous Health Research, 2012). The participating community stands to benefit from compensation or fair returns which include fair monetary compensation and royalties among other forms of compensations (Center for Indigenous Health Research, 2012).

One such agricultural research project that was undertaken by a TCU that is set to benefit the local economy is the hydroponic greenhouse project that was conducted by the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) and Sandia National Laboratory in collaboration with researchers in Chihuahua, Mexico (Tribal College Journal, 2005). SIPI’s Land Grant University Demonstration Farm examined the feasibility of using hydroponic greenhouses in arid lands of the Western United States (Tribal College Journal, 2005). This research had set to quantify the performance of several forage crops and monitor “water usage of the hydroponic forage production systems” so as to estimate the water savings in comparison to the traditional field-grown production (Tribal College Journal, 2005). Tribal College Journal (2005) also notes that Fond du Lac and Community College, and Blackfeet Community College have also undertaken several researches on sustainable agricultural practices including; natural organic cropping techniques, fisheries management and aquaculture, water and soil conservation techniques, and use of native edible plants among others aimed at improving agricultural practices of the local communities. Thus, technology transfer of agricultural research outcomes according to Philips (2011) is expected to help the tribal communities achieve food sovereignty.

TCUs are also engaged in research projects and technology transfer activities in other sectors which have potential economic benefits to the local community and local industries. Such include renewable energy research projects which be utilized by energy production start-up firms. For example, the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) and the College of Menominee Nation from Keshena among other TCUs have developed efficient wind turbine systems which can be used to develop renewable energy for the Indian country (Tribal College Journal, 2010). The projects which are normally sponsored by the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, and the Bureau of Indian Education have enabled researchers from these institutions to design and construct prototypes of wind turbines capable of generating and mechanically or electronically storing energy and using the energy to power a simple machine (Tribal College Journal, 2010). Such technologies can be advanced by start-up energy producing firms to provide efficient alternative energy to the local communities.

Brenner and Buckhalt (2006, p. 165) note that research findings from university research projects are being used to produce products “from utility patents, plant patents, and Plant Variety Protection Certificates”. According to Brenner and Buckhalt (2006), and Fogarty (2007) there is demonstrable evidence that the public and industry owners among other stakeholders have benefitted from technology transfer arising from research conducted by institutions of higher learning. In the agricultural sector for example, income bearing licenses have been on the rise for the last 20 years and products with sales resulting from these inventions have also been increasing. Brenner and Buckhalt (2006) not these licenses are becoming increasingly successful at commercializing products using exclusive rights to these inventions. Institutions of higher learning’s patented and transferred technology are used by firms or start-up companies to built manufacturing plants and create new jobs to the local community (Drucker & Goldstein, 2007). These products expand product lines of already existing companies, thus increasing trade for those they sell to and revenues to the companies producing the products.

Implementing technology transfer processes is also expected to provide a TCU with benefits beyond the potential financial return; including increased enrollment, added collaborations, expanded degree offerings, and an enhanced reputation (Lowe & Quick, 2005).

2.9 Challenges facing technology transfer at TCUs

One major challenge that faces technology transfer is the different but related laws governing the management of intellectual property and patenting, especially in co-owned inventions (Brenner & Buckhalt, 2006). Brenner and Buckhalt (2006, p. 161) explain that extramural research normally funded by federal appropriations are governed by the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, which gives institutions performing the research to retain title to their inventions as well as to license rights to practice the inventions; on the other hand, inventions resulting from “intramural research conducted by federal agencies” are governed by the Stevenson-Wydler Act of 1980 and the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 among other legislations. As such, the laws governing intramural and extramural research create both synergy and conflict between federal agencies and public-sector institutions of higher learning. While institutions of higher learning make their decisions on intellectual property management based on whether the research findings are able to generate revenues to support other research programs, federal agencies’ aim is to make technologies arising from these inventions available to the public as well as the US industries at minimal costs (Brenner & Buckhalt, 2006). As such, federal agencies prefer public release of technologies or publication of research findings, and this creates problems between some federal agencies and institutions of higher learning due to the differing goals of intellectual property protection (Brenner & Buckhalt, 2006).

Another challenge that is affecting institutions of higher learning, including TCUs, as regards patenting is leadership. Nezu (2007) notes that even though patenting of research results provides necessary incentives to institutions of higher learning, researchers as well as businesses to commercialize research results which have been developed by institutions of higher learning, especially in some fields of technology; some institutions of higher learning do not have well-managed technology transfer office that can help researchers in patenting and publishing agreements. An examination of Minnesota State provides a perfect example of how TCUs’ leadership is lagging behind in promoting patenting and technology transfer of research results developed in these institutions. Among the TCUs in Minnesota State which include Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Leech Lake Tribal College, and White Earth Tribal and Community College (US Department of Education, 2011), only Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College has intellectual property coordinators appointed by the presidents of their respective institutions to offer advice on intellectual property issues to faculty and staff (Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, 2012).

Again, in North Dakota State not even a single TCU is part of the North Dakota University System (NDUS) whose mandate among others, is to encourage and promote research, patenting and technology transfer among colleges and universities in the state (North Dakota University System, 2012). The only community colleges which are part of the NDUS are Bismarck State College, Dakota College at Bottineau, Lake Region State College, North Dakota State College of Science, and Williston State College (North Dakota University System, 2012); none of which is a TCU. These examples are clear indication that the leadership of the TCUs are not doing much to promote patenting and technology transfer at their institutions. For this reason, it is possible that researchers at many TCUs suffer due to lack of their expertise in negotiating agreements with institutions or companies sponsoring their researches as noted by Nezu (2007). Vyakarnam (2012) notes that the lack of resources and know-how at technology transfer offices in institutions of higher learning pose serious challenge in protecting and commercializing their intellectual property rights. According to Nezu (2007, p. 21) researchers at institutions of higher learning often face problems due to “their lack of expertise in filling patent applications and negotiating agreements with industry”. Vyakarnam (2012) believes that these institutions lack the institutional strategy to align their operational model since they do not have adequate resources and trained people to deliver on their objectives. Vyakarnam (2012) explains that technology transfer offices are often chaired and governed by administrators or senior academics who may have never commercialized any inventions and therefore their focus is on governance and not on outcomes. Besides, people with no prior commercial expertise are placed in these offices making it hard to steer technology transfer activities for these institutions since they do not properly understand how to negotiate with industry or how to assist with the creation of spin-offs. According to Vyakarnam (2012) boards normally set up to review disclosures as well as intellectual property filing are usually attended by senior academics and trusted people from industry and not people with field expertise in commercialization. Vyakarnam (2012) notes that the positioning of technology transfer offices is typically not a major strategic drive of some institutions and therefore may not have the full backing of such institutions’ leadership, meaning that they remain outside mainstream institutional activities.

Lack of technology transfer offices at TCUs also means that these institutions do not have offices responsible for marketing their invented technologies and to look for companies or institutions to sponsor their research projects (Nezu, 2007). Since some (most) TCUs do not have technology transfer offices, it is difficult for them to professionalize technology transfer activities, meaning that they can not have strong bargaining power over their invented technologies or research results (Nezu, 2007).

2.30 An appropriate technology transfer process for a TCU

Ahmed (2009, p. 3) notes that “the process used to transfer a technology influences the success of the transfer”, and that is why it is important to define an appropriate model of transfer for TCUs. Thus, Schacht (2010) proposes that the best way to conduct these researches is through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs). In jointly or publicly funded research projects, TCUs depend on the funding institution or company for laboratory, equipment, administration and technical personnel, financial and technical support (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2009). Khakbaz (2012) notes technology transfer in this case occurs during the technology incubation stage, especially when the start-up enterprise or firm is in transition from the laboratory to a commercial enterprise (Manimala & Vijay, 2012). According to Manimala and Vijay (2012) the stage allows external users, which include new star-up companies, to advance the technology towards commercialization by the institution’s owned facilities as well as personnel in exchange for monetary compensation or an equity sharing arrangement. Thus, transfer of intellectual property occurs through license agreement or through contracting or an equity arrangement with the start-up company (Khakbaz, 2012). It is for these reasons that TCUs should adopt the CETUS model of the ‘three C approach’, proposed by the Consortium for Educational Technology for University Systems (Bruwelheide, 2008), as their technology transfer process.

The first part of the three C approach deals with the initiator or creator who generated the idea or invention who in this are the researchers, faculty or the university that conducted the research (Bruwelheide, 2008). This means that before commencing research the partners involved in the research have to agree whether the party conducting the research, which could be an individual researcher, researchers, faculty or the TCU, will grant the party supporting it an exclusive or a non-exclusive license to use the research results. If the researcher is an individual, a group or faculty, then the TCU has to implement strategies to share the proceeds from the research with the inventors. Nezu (2007) notes that while ownership of the research results or technology arising from the institution-industry partnership agreement may remain in the hands of the institution, the institution’s intellectual property policies have to state how the revenues/royalties are to be shared among all stakeholders. The second part deals with the control of the content. As noted by Bruwelheide (2008) the institution should negotiate with its partner(s) on who will have control over creation, production, specifications, as well as authority for acceptance. The third and final part of the technology transfer process as proposed by the CETUS model is compensation and other forms of support for the institution (Bruwelheide, 2008).

2.31 Chapter conclusion

Although the Bayh-Dole Act has granted TCUs the authority to protect and control intellectual property that resulting from their research projects whether funded by federal sources or the industry, it is clear from the literature review has not taken advantage of this legislation. Compared to mainstream universities in the US, TCUs are still lagging behind in patenting and technology transfer despite the potential advantages that technology transfer is likely to bring to the TCUs community. The literature review reveals that this is mostly attributed to inadequate technology transfer activities by the leadership in these institutions. The leadership at these institutions is not doing enough to promote and strengthen technology transfer activities in the respective TCUs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND DESIGN

3.1 Introduction

This chapter presents the methods of data collection as well as analysis that will be used in the study to find answers to the research questions in attempts. The methodology focuses on understanding factors/issues affecting technology transfer at TCUs. To achieve this, the study seeks to conduct a Delphi survey research across all the 37 TCUs in North America. The chapter therefore describes the research philosophy adopted for the study explaining the suitable research type and the research approach as well as data collection techniques that will be used in the study. On top of that, it explains data analysis method to be used in the study. The chapter also explains the reasons as to why each method was suitable for the study.

3.2 Research Philosophy

Given the goal of this study, which is to establish the factors which have been affecting technology transfer activities in TCUs across North America, interpretative philosophy is the most appropriate for this study, following Lewis, Saunders and Thornhill (2009)’s definition of interpretative philosophy. According to Lewis et al. (2009) interpretative philosophy involves the use symbolic interactionism together with phenomenology interactionism to understand the world or a situation/issue in the way it actually is in a subjective way, meaning from the research participants’ points of view. Interpretative philosophy actually aims to understand the phenomenon and not to predict, and as such, uses non-mathematical methods to conduct the research. This philosophy will allow the researcher to explore technology transfer activities in these institutions in the way they really are as well as the issues affecting management of technology transfer in these institutions.

 

3.3 Research Approach

The purpose of this study makes inductive research approach the best option. Lewis et al. (2009) notes that inductive research approach aims to understand as well as generate substantive grounds about the nature of the phenomenon or problem in the way that it occurs, and considering that the study seeks to achieve several objectives regarding technology transfer within the TCU community, this matches the goal of this study. Inductive approach is also appropriate for working on an issue that has not been explored and therefore there is no literature explaining it just like the academic entrepreneurial spirit, and in particular, advancing of technology transfer at TCUs which a small sub-field of institutions of higher learning-industry collaboration. Thus, the approach will be used to gain a good understanding of technology transfer activities in these institutions especially in preparing the questionnaire to be used for data collection. To meet the aims of interpretative research philosophy and inductive research approach, qualitative data collection approach will be used as is suggested by Silverman (2002), and also considering that the purpose of the study is to build an understanding plus to explain the problems surrounding technology transfer based on the available data gathered in the course of the study.

3.4 Research strategy and design

Survey research method will be used to collect enough data that will be analyzed to understand problems facing technology transfer in these institutions. Huff, Munro and Newsted (1998) note that surveys provide the best way to obtain and validate knowledge/data, and can also be used gather quantitative data, which will also be necessary for this study especially in quantifying the research findings. Besides, surveys allow for collection of large volume of data within a short period, and this makes it suitable for gathering data from all the 37 TCUs across North America. It will allow the researcher to collect opinions of experts across all these institutions on the problem under investigation. Therefore, cross-sectional surveys through representative sampling will be used to gather data from researchers, who include teachers and students, administrators and staff in these TCUs, selected to suit the Delphi technique. The administrators and staff to be selected for the study are those working in faculty offices, particularly faculties which have been actively engaged in research activities, and research laboratories in these faculties. For TCUs with technology transfer offices, those working in these offices will also be involved in the survey.

3.5 Time Horizon

Delphi technique focuses on drawing “expert opinions over a short period of time” (Hsu and Sandford 2007, p. 3), and given the goal of this study which is to study technology transfer activities at TCUs and the issues affecting technology transfer within the TCU community, a cross-sectional time horizon was found to be the most appropriate for achieving the research objectives.

3.6 Data Collection: Mixed Method Approach

Both qualitative and quantitative data collection approaches will be employed to gather data. Qualitative approach will be used to gather opinions of the panelists who will be involved in the research while quantitative approach will be used to shape the judgments of the panelists in achieving consensus. A questionnaire will be prepared to be used in data gathering.

3.6.1 Primary data collection: Delphi technique

The Delphi technique offers the best approach to study technology transfer at TCUs. The ability to elicit, distill, and establish the opinions of a select group of experts is the basis of the Delphi technique (Nworie, 2011), and for that reason, the Delphi procedure is the most appropriate for this study. The Delphi technique is an appropriate research design for this study because Delphi studies facilitate the building of consensus, problem-solving with subjective opinions, and interaction with participants over time. According to Nworie (2011) “This research methodology [Delphi technique] is based on the premise that the collective opinions of expert panelists are of richer quality than the limited view of an individual” (p. 25). The study will involve all 37 TCU members of the AIHEC. The selected experts from the 37 TCUs will offer a broad perspective upon the topic of technology transfer.

The Delphi-based study will be conducted to explore the level of research, organizational leadership, and technology transfer activities at participating TCUs. This study will involve three rounds of questionnaires and panelist interaction during later rounds. Each institution will have 6-9 panelists selected carefully from different sectors with transfer technology links. In the first round, a structured questionnaire will be sent to all the panelists via email. After receiving responses from the panelists, the research facilitators/investigators will use the collected information to design a well-structured questionnaire to be used as the survey instrument for the second round. In the second, the Delphi participants will be sent a second questionnaire to review the survey items summarized by the researchers. The panelists will be required to rate the survey items to establish preliminary priorities among items and state the rationale regarding their rating priorities. In the third round, the panelists will be sent a questionnaire that has items and ratings summarized by the researchers to review their judgments and specify the reasons for the issues still remaining outside the consensus.

 

 

 

 

3.6.2 Secondary Data

Secondary data will also be collected to be used in validating the primary data to be collected from the field. The main sources of the secondary data that will be used in this research include academic literatures, articles/literature from the TCUs sector, and institutional websites.

3.7 Framework for data analysis

Descriptive data analysis will be used to organize the judgments as well as the insights provided by the Delphi panelists to determine consensus. Measures of central tendencies, majorly mode and median, will be used to measure the stability of panelists’ responses in successive iterations.

3.8 Chapter conclusion

The purpose of this chapter is to present the whole research process as well as the research methods and strategies that will be used in finding answers to the research questions. Thus, it will follow an interpretative research philosophy and inductive research approach while the opinions of the experts will be collected through survey research design using the Delphi technique. Finally, the results will be analyzed using measures of central tendencies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gender Inequality and economic growth

May 29, 2013

Gender Inequality and economic growth

“Our social structure is one which anthropologists call a patriarchy. This literally means a society in which men rule. Patriarchy determines the values of our society. It helps construct our vision of reality” (Momen, 1994). Even though male female equality is one of the major talking points of the twenty first century, not much advancement has been made in this regard. Even in some of the most advanced countries like America and Canada, male female inequality exists in different forms. It should be noted that until now, no woman became the president of America. Moreover, most of the members holding the critical positions in American and Canadian administration are from the male community. The conditions of women in some of the fundamental societies like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan is pathetic even in the present century.  Nobody can forget the Malala incident which took place in Pakistan recently. In this incident a teenage girl Malala, was shot by Muslim fundamentalists because of her efforts to spread education among Muslim female girls in Pakistan. “Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck while she sat with classmates on a school bus as it prepared to drive students home after morning classes in Mingora”(Boone, 2012)

Even though we are living in an advanced society, the elements of patriarchy are still evident when it comes to the topics such as male female inequality. Stereotyping and employment discriminations against women at workplaces are growing at rapid pace. Instead of considering women as human being, some fundamental societies still consider them as commodities. In such societies they were treated as second class citizens. Their utility is perceived only for sexual activities in such societies.

Some people believe that gender inequality is the major reason behind the undergrowth of certain countries. Plenty of modern researches have proved the role of gender inequality in the underdevelopment of certain countries. This paper analyses the role of gender inequality in retarding the economic progress of a country.

How gender inequality affects economic growth?

Gender equality is a key factor in contributing to the economic growth of a nation. The United Nations Population Fund believe that economic growth and social equality should go hand in hand, arguing that “gender inequality holds back growth of individuals, development of countries, and the evolution of societies, to the disadvantage of men and women”. The discrimination against women remains a common occurrence in today’s society and serves to hinder economic prosperity. The empowerment of women through such things as the promotion of women’s rights and an increase in the access of women to resources and education proves to be key to the advancement of economic development. Namely, gender equality in the work force and in social relationships are the two primary factors that instill economic growth (Economic Growth, n.d.)

India and Pakistan are two neighbouring countries. It should be noted that both India and Pakistan are democratic countries though some people have disbelief about the credibility of Pakistan as a democratic country. Both the countries have nuclear arsenals, long range ballistic missiles and the potentials to become economically developed countries. India is emerging rapidly whereas Pakistan is struggling to do so.   One of the major reasons of India’s rapid economic progress and Pakistan’s slow progress is related to gender inequality. The conditions of women in India are far better than that of the women in Pakistan. There is no constraint for the Indian women in seeking education or taking part in social and economic activities. Nobody can forget the fact that India had a women president (Pratibha Patil) and a prime minister (Indira Gandhi) in the past. At present Indian parliament speaker is a female (Meera Kumar). Moreover, the current ruling coalition front (UPA) president is Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. It is a fact that Sonia has significant roles in controlling the administration. In short Women in India are able to contribute heavily to the progress of India as a country.

However, in Pakistan, women have lot of restrictions in taking part in social activities or economic activities. Women in Pakistan have limited opportunities in getting proper education. The Malala case is relevant here. The fundamentalists in Pakistan are not much interested in allowing women to get education or taking part in economic activities. Even though a female Benazir Bhutto became Pak president once, the general conditions of Pak women are pathetic. They are not able to work freely in factories or organizations.

According to David G¨umbel (2004), a bias in education directly impacts economic growth via lowering the average quality of human capital, and inequality in employment is also linked with lower growth (p.2). Women education is not encouraged in patriarchal societies such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Even though Saudi Arabia’s economic progress is phenomenal, the case is not so for Afghanistan and Pakistan. In fact Saudi was able to compensate for the loss of women productivity with the help of immense oil resources. In other words, it would have been easy for Saudi to develop further if they were able to increase the women productivity by improving the women educational standards. On the other hand, Afghanistan and Pakistan are struggling to develop their economy properly because of the lack of women education and subsequent inferior contributions from the women community to economic growth.

There is a correlation between a high GNP per capita and low gender inequality. Using different measures of gender inequality, such as biases in education, life expectancy, indices of legal and economic equality in society and marriage, and measures of women’s empowerments, scholars were able to prove that inequality can be to a considerable extent be explained by regional factors, civil freedom, and religious preference (G¨umbel, 2004, p.2).

Culture seems to be an important factor in increasing the gap between men and women. In Hindu and Christian culture, women are getting almost similar status with men whereas in Muslim culture, it is impossible for women to enjoy similar status with men. That is why majority of the women countries are struggling to develop properly. The Muslim countries which were able to develop properly were mainly the Gulf countries. However, natural resources helped these countries to develop in the right direction. On the other hand, India like countries was able to streamline economic growth in the right direction with the help of women community also.

Abundant manpower seems to be the most important factor in enhancing economic progress of countries such as India and China. It should be noted that China is the number one and India is number two in terms of population size in the world. Earlier, economists thought that population growth is one of the major barriers in front of these countries as far as economic progress is concerned. At present, it is proved that population size is helping these countries in the streamlining the economic progress. India and China are countries in which educated labour force (Both men and women) are abundant. These countries are currently supplying labour force to regions such as America and Europe. It should not be forgotten that Indra Nooi (an Indian woman) is the current CEO of American company PepsiCo. Moreover, manpower shortage forced countries such as America and Europe to outsource a substantial portion of their jobs to countries such as India. India and China like countries earn substantial portion of foreign money from outsourcing jobs. Majority of the employees working in Indian outsourcing or business process outsourcing (BPO) firms are educated women. Plenty of women nurses working in American and European hospitals are from India like countries. In short, the contributions of women community in India’s and China’s progress cannot be underestimated.

Men are just beginning to realize that the traditional definition of masculinity leaves them unfulfilled and dissatisfied. While women have left the home from which they were imprisoned by the ideology of separate spheres and now seek to balance work and family lives, men continue to search for a way back into the family from which they were exiled by the same ideology (Kimmel, 2011, p.267).

Economic development is evident in societies where women get more freedom. Work life balancing is one of the major problems facing by the women professionals. However, in societies where gender gap is less, women get more help from the men in keeping work life balancing. In such societies, men are ready to help women even in kitchen duties. It should be noted that single source income is not sufficient for meeting family expenses in many countries. It is necessary to allow women to work just like men to earn more income to meet family expenses. Coltrane (1998) pointed out that “Family roles will not be totally transformed, even if most people begin to question the rigid activities based on gender” (p.177).

Traditional belief is such that men are superior to women in terms of physical and mental power. It is a fact that men have superior physical strength compared to women. However, same thing cannot be said about mental strength. Women are capable of performing better than men while undertaking critical jobs.

Even though America is one of the most advanced and civilised countries in the world, they are not so, in terms of male female equality. Gender difference plays significant roles in American political and social lives. Stereotyping and employment discriminations against women at American workplaces are also growing. Beauty and sexuality will be projected more instead of intelligence, knowledge and experience, when people describe a stronger woman. For example, Sara Palin has contested the US vice presidential election recently.  Instead of discussing her abilities in administration, American media tried to exaggerate her physical attributes. The case of Hillary Clinton was also not much different. Even though she tried a lot to secure the presidential candidature, Democratic Party did not allow her to do so. Plenty of Americans still believe that a woman may not fit in the president post of America. In short, contribution of women in American economic growth is declining because of the above apprehensions about the abilities of women. The case is not much different in Canada also.

“According to a recent Annual World Economic Forum study, Canada lags behind Sri Lanka, Lesotho and Latvia at No. 20 in a global ranking of equality between men and women”(Canada ranks 20th in global gender equality study, 2011). One of the surprising facts about this finding is that Annual World Economic Forum has analyzed statistics from 134 countries and Canada secured 20 th place in the list. Canada is one of the most advanced and civilized countries in the world. Even same sex marriage is allowed legally in Canada at present. However, gender inequality at workplace, is a serious problem in Canada.  “On average, the estimated earned income for Canadian women is $28,315 compared with $40,000 for men”(Canada ranks 20th in global gender equality study, 2011). In other words, men and women in similar positions get different salaries in Canada. Canadian entrepreneurs are not ready to recognize or consider the contributions of women same way as they consider the contributions of men. In short, workplace discriminations against women in Canada are getting intensified as time goes on.

Gender wage gap is seen across the world. Even in advanced countries like Australia, America and Canada, gender wage gap exists. Gender wage gap is severe in Australia though Australians did succeed recently in appointing its first woman prime minister.

It is a well-established fact that occupations and industries staffed mainly with female workers pay lower wages to both men and women compared to predominantly ‘male’ occupations and industries. The observed persistent concentration of women in low-paid groups of workers, coined gender segregation, is therefore a key explanation for the existence of the gender wage gap (Jurajda, 2004, p.1).

“It is regularly reported that the top 200 companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange pay their female Chief Financial and Chief Operating Officers on average 50 per cent less than their male equivalents” (Dr. Stone, 2010). “The gender pay gap is the best way to measure pay inequality between men and women”(Closing the Gender Pay Gap, 2008, p.13). Stereotyping is the major reason for the gender pay gap. No country seems to be free from evil of stereotyping. Many people believe that discrimination at workplace is taking place with respect to skin colour or cultural backgrounds. However, discriminations in the form of unequal wages to men and women are prevailing everywhere in the world. In Australia, any effort made to “decrease the gender wage gap would be significantly associated with an increase in women’s hours of work” (Vidyattama et al, 2009, p.13). In other words, the efforts to reduce gender wage gaps result in another kind of discrimination in Australia. Women who want more salary should work more or stay back for overtime works in Australia. This is because of the myth prevailing in Australian organizational world that the productivity of men and women are different. According to a report released by National Centre of Social Economic Modeling (NATSEM) in 2010, the gender factor accounted for 60 per cent of the wage gap between men and women (Australia’s gender wage gap ‘costs $93b’, 2010).

“Social psychologists have demonstrated repeatedly that occupations associated with women or requiring stereotypically feminine skills are rated as less prestigious and deserving of less pay than occupations associated with men and masculine skills” (Lips, 2008). Even in this twenty first century, many organizations are reluctant in employing women in critical positions. It should be noted that the number of women CEOs in this world is extremely lesser than that of the men. In fact women have better abilities in working under pressure situations. Patience and temperament of the women community is generally more than that of the men community. However, plenty of myths still prevail in the organizational world about the abilities of women. Majority of the organizations are interested in providing only clerical jobs, secretary jobs and office administration jobs to the women. As a result of that women fail to deliver their true potentials in the organizational world.

“Women in the private services sector in particular are at high risk of low pay, but enjoy little protection from union coverage which is concentrated among private sector men and public sector women” (Jackson, 2004, p.1). The conditions of women professionals in public sectors are comparatively better than that in private sectors. It is difficult for women in private sectors to take part in trade union activities and fight for their rights. Male domination is visible at the top of trade unions also and as a result of that trade unions argue more for the rights of males rather than that of the females. Women are handicapped by the absence of proper bodies to raise their claims at workplaces which is exploited by the employers. Moreover, private organizations may not take the protests of women workers seriously. They know very well that it is easy for them to supress the agitations of women using force. Failure to achieve natural rights forces women professionals to work less for the betterment of their organizations. Thus the productivity of the women in private organizations is getting decreased as time goes on.

“Workplace discrimination can be explained by social cognition theory. Social cognition theory points that individuals automatically and unconsciously classify others into one of two groups: ingroup or outgroup” (Banerji, 2006, p.4). Women always be included in the outgroup list whereas men will be included in the ingroup. Societies have a habit of valuing the contributions of the ingroup more than that of the outgroup.  Thus the contributions of the women are often gone unnoticed whereas that of the men is projected more by the societies.

In Saudi Arabia like Muslim countries, women are not allowed to drive even their own vehicle. Though Saudi government has no problem in allowing the women to work in organizations, the government is not keen in providing enough freedom to the women professionals. As a result of that it is extremely difficult for the women professionals in Saudi to contribute heavily to the economic growth of the country. 

A review of literature suggests that the relationship between gender equality and economic growth is an asymmetrical one. The evidence that gender equality, particularly in education and employment, contributes to economic growth is far more consistent and robust than the relationship that economic growth contributes to gender equality in terms of health, wellbeing and rights. From a growth perspective, therefore, the promotion of certain dimensions of gender equality may appear to offer a win-win solution but from a gender equity perspective (Kabeer and Natali, 2013, p.3).

Plenty of debates are going on about the relationship between gender inequality and economic growth. Some people argue that gender inequality will be decreased when economic progress increases in a country. Many others are of the view that reduction of gender inequality is necessary to stimulate economic progress. In any case, it is a fact that there is close and direct relationship between gender inequality and economic developments. In other words, when economic conditions improve in a country, the conditions of the women also improve and vice versa. India and China like countries are examples to know the influence of gender equality in stimulating economic progress whereas Pakistan and Afghanistan are countries in which gender inequality slow down the economic progress.

 

Conclusions

Gender inequality prevents a country from attaining rapid economic growth. The contributions of women for the growth of a country’s economy are as important as the contributions of men. It is the duty of the governments to ensure that women are not facing any problems in taking part in social and professional activities so that the economic progress of the country will not be affected. Lack of education, workplace discriminations and gender wage gap are some of the problems preventing women from contributing to the economic growth of a country. In countries where these problems are less, women contribute heavily to the economic growth. India and China are developing rapidly at present because of their ability to exploit the abilities of women whereas Pakistan and Afghanistan are facing underdevelopment because of the reluctance of these countries in recognising the contributions of women for economic growth.

References

Australia’s gender wage gap ‘costs $93b’, (2010). Retrieved from http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/australias-gender-wage-gap-costs-93b-20100315-q9da.html

Boone, J. (2012). Malala Yousafzai: Pakistan Taliban causes revulsion by shooting girl who

            spoke out. The Guardian. Wednesday 10 October 2012

 

Banerji R. (2006), An Examination of Factors Affecting Perception of Workplace

Discrimination, Retrieved from http://www.cira-acri.ca/docs/workingpapers/StudentPerceptions%20of%20Workplace%20Discrimination_Banerjee_081506.pdf

 

Canada ranks 20th in global gender equality study (2011), National union of public and

general employees.  Retrieved from http://www.nupge.ca/content/3656/canada-ranks-20th-global-gender-equality-study

Coltrane S. (1998). Gender and families Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998

Dr. Stone S. (2010). Equal Pay for Equal Work. Retrieved from http://www.liberal.org.au/Latest-News/Blog/2010/03/Equal-Pay-for-Equal-Work.aspx

Economic Growth (n.d.). University of Michigan. Retrieved from             http://sitemaker.umich.edu/sec006group4/gender_equality_and_economic_growth

G¨umbel, D. (2004). The Influence of Gender Inequality on Economic Growth. Retrieved from

http://www.david-guembel.de/uploads/media/Ausarbeitung_Seminar_Wirtschaftsgeschichte_Gender_Inequality.pdf

 

Jackson, A. (2004), Gender Inequality and Precarious Work: Exploring the Impact of Unions Through the Gender and Work Database, Retrieved from http://www.genderwork.ca/conference/Jackson_edited_final.pdf

Jurajda S (2004). Gender Segregation and Wage Gap: An East-West Comparison. Retrieved from http://home.cerge-ei.cz/jurajda/jeea.pdf

Lips H.M. (2008). The Gender Wage Gap: Debunking the Rationalizations. Retrieved from             http://www.womensmedia.com/new/Lips-Hilary-gender-wage-gap.shtml

Kabeer, N. and Natali, L.(2013). Gender Equality and Economic Growth: Is there a Win-Win? IDS Working Paper 417. Publisher IDS

Kimmel, K. (2000). The gendered society. Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

(January 20, 2000)

Momen, M. (1994). In all the Ways that Matter, Women Don’t Count. Retrieved from         http://bahai-library.com/bsr/bsr04/44_momen_women.htm

Vidyattama Y, Miranti R, McNamara J & Cassells R (2009). Estimating the Impact of the Gender Wage Gap on the Australian Economy. Natsem. University of Canberra. Retrieved from https://guard.canberra.edu.au/natsem/index.php?mode=download&file_id=1096

 

 

ECONOMICS: STATISTICS “MLE PARAMETER ESTIMATION”

May 29, 2013

Question One

Statistical Inference is the process of drawing conclusions about a population on the basis of sample results (Hogg and Tanis, 1996). Because such inference cannot be absolutely certain, the language of probability is often used in stating conclusions. A parameter is an unknown characteristic of probability distinction whose value determines a particular distribution (Hogg et al, 2004). It is the knowledge of parameters that specifies a distribution. Since parameters are associated with a population, the term ‘population parameters’ is in common use. On the other hand, a statistic is a function of a random sample, which does not depend on the unknown parameter, say θ. Statistical Inference is based on the assumption that some population characteristics can be represented by a random variable, with probability distribution, , and whose form is unknown, except that it contains an unknown parameter, , in its parameter space (Hogg et al, 2004). Point estimation is an approach concerned with methods of using observations to estimate the value of . The three main methods used in parameter estimation are as follows:

  • Method of Moments, µ, proposed by Karl Pearson in 1891
  • Method of Maximum Likelihood, proposed by Fisher in 1912; and
  • Bayesian Estimation Approach, based on Baye’s Theorem

This paper explores the use of Maximum Likelihood approach in estimating parameter values. This approach defines a likelihood function as:

 

This is so because  are independent and identically distributed as noted. Since the log function of L I monotonic increasing, the value of  which maximizes log L is the same value that maximizes L. However, it is usually easier to maximize log L. The point where the likelihood is a maximum is the solution to the k equations:

 

-And hence the Maximum Likelihood Estimator.

Solution 1:

Likelihood Function:

 

Natural Logarithm of the Likelihood Function:

 

 

First Order Conditions: α, β,

 

 

 

Therefore:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question Two

 

 

Numerator:

From Equation Two:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Denominator:

From Equation 2;

 

 

 

 

 

Therefore we have                             

Similarly:

 

 

Question Three

Hessian Matrix:

Hessian matrices are used in arriving at stationary point classifications, whereby a function  is twice continuously differentiable in , with the first and second order partial derivatives being well defined and continuous throughout the region of interest. A hessian matrix is used as a more systematic approach to stationary point classification, as this is not always possible using the minima, maxima and gradient approaches, which are in common use. A Hessian matrix will take the form shown below:

 

It is important to note that this matrix is always symmetrical.

The first part of this question is setting up the Hessian matrix of the second partials at . Therefore, we must compute the second order derivatives for the three parameters/ variables as shown below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It can be seen from the above that the own-partials for both  are negative. The second partial derivative of  is negative becausegreater than.

We know that the determinant of a three-by-three matrix is computed as follows:

Given a 3 X 3 matrix, M as , the Determinant is defined as follows:

 

Clearly, from the above, the Determinant of the Hessian matrix here will be negative, at .

Question Four

Given that the probability of the random variable, X depends on an unknown parameter, , the Information matrix, also known as Fisher’s Information matrix is a way of measuring the amount of information that such a random variable provides about the parameter of interest. The Probability Density Function of X, conditioned on  is , which, as defined in the previous section, is the likelihood function for . Fisher’s Information matrix is computed as:

 

The above expression denotes that we would compute the conditional expectation over  with respect to the probability density function, . This value is always greater than zero (non-negative).  If the log of  is twice differentiable with respect to  , with certain factors held constant, Fisher’s Information may be represented as follows:

 

Fisher’s Information is therefore the negative of the expected value of the second partial derivative with respect to  of the natural log of . We know that the second partial derivatives arranged in the form of a square matrix form the Hessian matrix. It is therefore proven that an Information matrix is the negative of the inverse of the Hessian matrix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

  1. Hogg, R.V., Tanis, E.A. (1996), Probability and Statistical Inference, 5th Edition, Prentice Hall
  2. Hogg, R.V., Craig, A.T., McKean, J.W. (2004), Introduction to Mathematical Statistics, 6th Edition, Pearson

Chapter 5 Alcohol Abuse in Adolescents Research Methods

May 29, 2013

Analysis of data

 

Basing on the results of the study of 30 participants, the following analysis of the

 

research findings was made. The observation that most teenagers started drinking at the age of 14

 

years is worrisome. However, this can be explained by the curiosity with which at this age most

 

teens are out to explore the outside world. The relative available free time and most importantly,

 

peer pressure may be the largest contribution to the identified behavior (Michaud, 2007). Due to

 

curiosity and friends influence, most teens are not cautious and are prone to fall into this

 

behavior to fit in their social class.

 

Another major finding is that teens can be distracted from alcohol involvement by

 

physical activity engagement. This was about 85% of those who actively engaged in physical

 

activities did not indulge in alcohol. This can be connected to the time that is taken up and thus

 

limited time to engage in the irresponsible behavior. It was also clear that pressure either related

 

to work and education inclined teens towards drinking. This was a running place to escape reality

 

(American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2005). Drinking to impress can also be

 

explained by the peer pressure factor which contributed 50% of the cases. Major factors that

 

contributed to alcohol abuse are tied to social, economical, and cultural factors. Thus in dealing

 

with this problem these factors should be thought of to formulate best strategies to deal with the

 

menace.

 

Findings

 

Major findings of the study indicate that indulgence in alcohol was more in boys than in

 

girls. The alcohol intake within teens also increased with age. The increase in availability of

 

alcohol increased the chances of use. Physical activities involvement also reduced chances of

 

drinking at this age group. Interaction with peers was noted to increase the likelihood of

 

indulgence. Pressure was also identified to be a cause of involvement in alcohol abuse. More to

 

these observations, it was observed that social, cultural, and economic factors brought

 

probability of indulgence in the alcohol use. 70% respondents indicated that institutions are

 

doing the best to curb this problem.

 

Thirty five percent of teenagers indulge in alcohol to cope with high expectations placed

 

on them. Majority of teens and exactly 80% of them believe that alcohol presents horrible

 

outcomes on abusers and their relatives. Similarly, their parents drinking often worry 65% of

 

teens. They also believe that such behavior is a factor which contributes to family disintegration.

 

Lastly, 35% of the percent are still scared of bullying at school.

 

Weaknesses

 

Major biases were possible in this research. This is because most teens were not

 

comfortable sharing their private information for the course of research. This was due to

 

different fears and lack of trust that the rule of confidentiality would be highly upheld. In this

 

case, the participants may have provided information based on what they thought was acceptable

 

and not the truth (Bukstein, 2009). This may have caused the weakness in inferring with the

 

findings to generalize on the teens and alcohol problem.

 

Recommendations

 

Following the above findings, the research recommends the following to help curb or

 

reduce this menace of alcohol use within the identified age group.

 

The encouragement of involvement and participations in varied physical activities. This

 

apart from encouraging positive behavior, participation also takes time which youth are idle and

 

thus engage in devastating behavior such as alcohol indulgence (Stager, 2011).

 

Encouraging parents to act as role models, they should also start educating their children

 

 

at the dangers of alcohol use at an early age. This will help teen to access information before

 

they can learn and experiment with their peers.

 

Introduction of advisory groups to high-risk communities, this should handle social,

 

economical, and cultural factors. Awareness can help teens in dealing with alcohol problems.

 

This should involve education and activities for participation.

 

Future research suggestions

 

The future research should be focused more on the parents and institutional roles in

 

saving teens from alcohol use menace. Such research is suggested since it is possible to prevent

 

the teens from falling into the problem rather than helping them to come out of the problem

 

(American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2005). This should also provide roles

 

of each party, as they are the most basic in guiding and shaping young adults.

 

Conclusion

 

As the major finding of the study indicates, indulgence in alcohol is more in boys than in

 

girls. The alcohol intake within teens also increased with age. The increase in availability of

 

alcohol increased the chances of use. The research recommends improved participation in

 

physical activities to distract them from indulgence. Secondly, parents should act as good role

 

models and be good examples. Lastly, high-risk communities should be educated to create

 

awareness. Awareness forms the basis for the prevention of alcohol use. Future research should

 

be focused in the institutional and parent roles in the teen alcohol use. This can provide

 

information and recommend better approaches in dealing with the menace.

 

 


References

 

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (2005). Practice parameter for the

 

assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with substance use disorders.

 

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry , 44 (6), 609–621.

 

Bukstein, O. (2009). Adolescent substance abuse. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and

 

Wilkins.

 

Michaud, P. (2007). Alcohol misuse in adolescents – a challenge for general practitioners. Ther

 

Umsch , 64 (2), 121–6.

 

Stager, M. (2011). Substance abuse. Philadelphia: Saunders.

 

Robinson Crusoe

May 29, 2013

   For many readers, Defoe’s work; Robin Crusoe, uses many references to God, frugality and Sin which are inessential to actual concern of the novel hence flick through the passages to arrive to the interesting sections. According to some readers, Defoe tries to make his literature conventional to the enormous section of the reading and buying population that perceive fiction as deceits that threatened the soul’s redemption.

            Daniel’s work greatly captures the readers due to its reflective spiritual acumens. From Crusoe’s conversation, a revolution in the progression of preordained caveats and deliverances occurs. This is just a specimen case in the novel.  After leaving his native homes, Crouse finally ends in shipwrecked on an island and hence being secluded from the entire society. Crouse commits an “original sin” leaving home without the permission of his father.  This sin has two sides; the economical side and spiritual side. To him, this is not only a sin to his biological father but also as sin to God. This original sin is kind of an anti-puritan reason to avoid Puritan vocation. According to Defoe, Crusoe’s exile is more of “a little kingdom” and “a castle” (Defoe, 109, 125). Consequently as we know, every kingdom has got its own supreme leader; the king in this case Crouse indentifies himself as the king on the island. Actually, Defoe’s work is more of a reflective novel. He tries to authenticate and pay tribute to providence. Unfortunately, he ends up dramatizing and doctoring the work to fit the Puritan personality.

             In fact, he finally ends up commemorating loneliness that exalts independence of acquiescence. In fact, he is absurdly insincere a contributing factor to the failure of Puritanism that transformed from a dogma which required to convert the entire globe. For the believers, each and every instance in the society has its moral meaning. Defoe aims to outline the meaning of the Puritanism nature in the society by giving the natives a real life experience of a common human being; Crusoe. Instances such as going off course at sea is translated to mean a spiritual drift, being a slave equates to enslavement by sin, corporeal infirmity and recuperation meaning spiritual disease and salvation, not forgetting the wreckages that mean spiritual shipwreck.

Personally, I prefer referring to the tribulation of Crusoe in the ocean and the Christian rebirth to salvation life by baptism and the loneliness in the island with a lonely human being but in relation with the almighty God. Poetically, Defoe implements a unique tool of involving religion in his novel so as to capture the Puritanism society that finds adventure in reading.  However, to some extent he fails the test of authenticity. Most of the cases in the novel are more of hypothetical that practical. We ought not to completely write off Defoe’s reasons for using religion to pass his message.

               However, there are other attractive ways that Daniel as a prolific literature author could use to put across his arguments. Not forgetting that not all readers will perceive this work as mislead.  We must appreciate that as human beings, we can’t have positive preferences all through our lives. Consequently, we must learn to rule our ego and coup with the changes in live even if they don’t affect our lives positively.  Finally, I strongly believe that Defoe had his own composed reasons for using the religious aspect in his work. As much as we perceive his style as inauthentic, we must also give credit to work well done by Daniel.

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Defoe, Daniel.  Robinson Crusoe. Intelligentsia Publishing (1900). Print

 

Autobiographical Statement

May 29, 2013

The fate of any nation is determined by the quality of education, as this modern era is ruled by the knowledge-based economies. Being a true learner, I believe knowledge has become one of the most critical inputs to the economic development and growth of any country. In fact, it’s the very sense of patriotism, including the self-esteem too, which made me pursue higher education in my chosen discipline.

For me, universities and high education institutions are the reservoirs of knowledge and wisdom. This is not merely my personal opinion, but now a well-proven fact that education empowers the deprived, and uplifts the ignorant downtrodden masses to the level of enlightened societies.

Also being a part of my community, I always wanted to do something for the welfare of my neighbourhood, which was impossible to achieve without getting higher education. Therefore, in very early ages I decided to utilise my best efforts in pursuance of education.

There is always a litany of problems and concerns one has to deal with. Starting from financial constraints to those of the critical health-related issues etc., every man and woman, living in this world, cannot avoid problems one way or another. On many occasions, I also suffered through severe financial crisis, but all the time I successfully overcame the challenge. Particularly, this was the beginning of the last year when I, desperately, needed 1000 dollars to buy a few of the books which were strictly recommended by my research supervisor. Though those books were available in the university library, but no one was allowed to bring them back at home due to some policy matters of the library. I had to submit a detailed research report till the end of January 2012, but appeared to be a daunting task without using the recommended books as secondary sources. Then, I joined a nearby restaurant as a part-time crew member in order to collect the required money. I used to work 7 to 8 hours in the restaurant just to make sure that I would earn the sufficient amount of money.

We all have to realise the real importance and significance of maintaining the higher educational standards, as there is no room left for those who spend less on acquiring knowledge and information. According to Theodore Roosevelt, ‘Believe you can and you’re halfway there’. (goodreads.com) All praises to God Almighty, I earned the required amount, and submitted my research report before the deadline.

Above-mentioned wasn’t the only occasion when I had to suffer severe financial crunch, but in a word, this is the power of determination, willingness and hard-work that keeps us going despite difficult situations.

Here I must say that we need highly-educated economic managers and well-trained financial experts capable of transforming the budgetary limitations and constraints into financial autonomy. More than political pundits or rabble-rousers, we need qualified researchers and creative thinkers who know how to better deal with hunger, poverty, terrorism, unemployment and illiteracy etc. By offering an ideal educational environment to our youth, we can easily produce a new generation comprising high-quality graduates, masters and PHD degree holders in different disciplines of knowledge.

Personally speaking, these are not the violent protests made by the angry crowds, but the crowded lectures halls and packed symposiums which depict the brighter future of any nation. And here I am having devoted the whole lifespan in quest of higher education.

In my journey to higher education, I have been, always, very optimistic about the outcome of my struggle, and I overcome personal or academic challenges through self-belief and motivation. I am confident that one day I will get the higher education degree since higher education is the most significant and crucial factor not only for an individual, but for an entire nation as well.

 

 

Works Cited

Quotes About Self Confidence, Accessed on March 11, 2013:

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/self-confidence