- 1993-9019 (online)
This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies drawing on the work of the OECD Directorate for Education. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language (English or French) with a short summary available in the other.
Understanding the Regional Contribution of Higher Education Institutions
A Literature Review
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- Peter Arbo1, Paul Benneworth2, 3
- Author Affiliations
- 1: University of Tromsö, Norway
- 2: University of Newcastle, United Kingdom
- 3: University of Twente, Netherlands
- 09 July 2007
- Bibliographic information
The contribution of higher education institutions to regional development is a theme that has attracted growing attention in recent years. Knowledge institutions are increasingly expected not only to conduct education and research, but also to play an active role in the economic, social and cultural development of their regions. The extent to which higher education institutions are able to play this role depends on a number of circumstances: the characteristics of the institutions, the regions in which they are located and the policy frameworks are all significant. At the same time, there are signs of more fundamental conceptual and strategic confusion. The discussions in this domain are frequently characterised by slogans and popular metaphors. This literature review was prepared to support the OECD project entitled 'Supporting the Contribution of Higher Education Institutions to Regional Development', which was conducted by the OECD Programme on Institutional Management in Higher Education (IMHE) in collaboration with the Directorate of Public Governance and Territorial Development. Drawing mainly from a selection of European and North American publications, the report takes an overall view on the development of higher education institutions in the regional context. It focuses on the evolution and discourses of higher education and research, the regional aspects of higher education policies, the various functions and roles that the institutions play, measures taken to link the universities with their regional partners, and the conditions which favour or hamper stronger regional engagement.