Harrisburg University was recognized by a UK business publication as the United States’ STEM university of the year for its health care and life sciences programs.
The university was chosen for innovation and student diversity in its programs by a global panel of judges for the Birmingham, U.K.-based Corporate LiveWire’s 2018 Healthcare and Life Sciences awards.
Eric Darr, university president, said the school made a strategic decision in 2015 to move more into health care and that the title comes at a time when the university plans to continue to strengthen its degrees in the field.
“We are excited about that recognition of our hard work,” Darr said. “It dovetails nicely with the direction the institution wants to go to implement more programs in health care and health sciences.”
Harrisburg University currently has a pre-medical track and new nursing programs. It also plans to introduce new pharmacy programs and announced last year that it will be building a health science education center on a property at the corner of Chestnut and South Third streets in the city.
Darr said that examples of the university’s innovation, recognized in the 2018 award, include its biotechnology undergrad program and master’s program in health care informational engineering.
Within the university’s bio technology program, students learn nano-biological technology and biological-related devices – aspects that Darr said not every university provides. He added that the school’s health care information engineering program focuses on change management, or how a health system can pay attention to data and make decisions based on it.
Corporate LiveWire also recognized the university for the diversity in its health care programs. Harrisburg University has 6,000 students from 103 countries and Darr said that achievement has also been a focus.
“The university was founded to provide access to students with STEM when they otherwise wouldn’t have access,” Darr said. “We are glad to live up to that.”