The University as a Regional Development Catalyst: Frameworks to Assess the Contribution of Higher Education to Regional Development
Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest
June 24, 2011
European Economic Recovery and Regional Structural Transformations, June 2011
Nowadays universities are increasingly seen as catalysts for development, with substantial contribution not only as providers of education and research, but also as actors paying an active role in the development of their economic, social and cultural surroundings. Questions like the following may easily arise: How are universities embedded in the regions they belong to? What are the facets of their contribution to the regional development? How might universities interact with and what is the strength of their linkages to the regions in which they are located? How can we measure this strength and how can we assess their participation to region’s development? Thus, this paper tries to bring clarifications on these issues by taking a close look at how higher education contributes to regional development in the context of the learning economy, and by identifying and analysing the frameworks that capture and describe extensively the multiple ways in which higher education institutions contribute to the regional development in the face of significant economic and social change. The diverse roles of universities as large institutions, sources of expertise, and providers of common educational experiences are commonly the most used to classify the regional impact of universities. From other perspective, universities act as local integrators of national policy streams for regional benefit: labour market, employment and skills policies; industrial/competitiveness policy; science and technology policy; education and training policy; and territorial development policy.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 10
Keywords: regional development, higher education, university, regional impact
JEL Classification: O18, R11, I21Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 2, 2011
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