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Roger Williams Rolls Out New Policy Aimed To Combat 'Brain-Drain'

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In an effort to keep more college graduates in Rhode Island, Roger Williams University is making some changes. The university is preparing to open a $10...

In an effort to keep more college graduates in Rhode Island, Roger Williams University is making some changes. The university is preparing to open a $10 million campus in downtown Providence, at the former site of 38 Studios and a marine center in Bristol.

It’s also rolled out a new education initiative. Starting this year, all students will be required to spend time working directly with local businesses as part of their coursework.

Roger Williams President Donald Farish said he hopes the experiences will help students land jobs and hopefully stay in-state following graduation.

“We keep talking about a brain-drain, and yet we import all these brains, and then they go right back to where they came from,” said. “And then we hear stories of Rhode Island kids that can’t get jobs and that’s even worse.”

Farish said the goal is to provide skilled workers to fill the state’s needs.

“We start with our feet not on the campus, but in the community looking back at the campus, and saying what is it the community need from us, and can we deliver it, and if we can, we should.”

According to Farish, Rhode Island lags behind places like Boston, which retains about 43 percent of students graduating in the city.

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Roger Williams President Donald Farish speaks about new education policies. Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza looks on.
Roger Williams President Donald Farish speaks about new education policies. Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza looks on.