Opening Remarks: Hawaii Higher Education Summit
Following Senator Daniel Inouye’s announcement of a $36 million stimulus grant to the University of Hawaii to expand broadband access and capabilities in the state, Senator Daniel K. Akaka and Representative Mazie K. Hirono shared opening remarks with the nearly 300 higher education summit participants.
Akaka added “aloha” to the summit’s theme, “E Kamakani Hou,” calling for a new wind with aloha. “As a former teacher, principal and state administrator, and as a proud graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, I know that quality education is critical to a healthy and prosperous society,” he said. Learning opportunities for keiki and adults are a good investment for everyone and should always be a priority.
Akaka called for providing students with the skills they need to succeed. “I hope Hawaii serves as a model,” sharing the strength of the university system and increased educational opportunities across the state and nation.
“We all know that education is a continuum that start before birth,” commented Hirono, citing her legislative focus on issues related to early childhood education.
“We must invest in research-based educational reform at every level” for the United States to again lead the world in educational attainment and Hawaii to build a globally competitive future.
University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood reminded the summit participants that nearly two out of three jobs in the state of Hawaii will require at least some college education by 2018. “The university truly understands it is part of the broader community,” she said. “We know that the stakes are high for our students and we will continue to ensure students are well equipped and well positioned to thrive in this global economy.” The system can bring resources to the state and build programs that, individually, we would not be able to accomplish, she added.