The United States has been a leader in higher education since the Massachusetts legislature established Harvard College in 1636, six years after the Puritans landed and founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Americans created the world’s first collegiate university system by establishing land-grant universities across the country Morel Works 1862 and 1890. They blended the two most successful models of higher education in the world – the German Research University and the Oxbridge Residential College – in a powerful and unique combination in the 1890s. The twentieth century saw the United States invent the high-tech research park, multiple universities, the commuter college, and, cynics might add, the university as a hedge fund.
In many ways, the United States is still the global pacemaker today. American universities occupy 19 of the top 30 places in the world 2023 Times Higher Education completes the ranking of world universities. The United States has the largest concentration of Nobel Prize winners. Nine of the ten richest universities are in the United States (the odd guy is King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia). Harvard’s top ranking on that list, with an endowment of more than $50 billion, didn’t stop Kenneth Griffin, founder and CEO of Citadel (and outspoken critic of the academic left), from writing a check for $300 million.