Higher Education in Regional and City Development: Bío Bío Region, Chile 2010

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The Bío Bío Region has pioneered regional development in Chile. It has a high concentration of higher education and research activity. Its universities and other higher education institutions have made significant progress in widening access to education. But challenges remain: the Bío Bío Region continues to suffer from brain drain as well as higher than average unemployment and poverty rates.

How can the Bío Bío Region promote new business formation and the development of the existing small and medium-sized companies? What incentives are needed to improve higher education institutions’ regional and local orientation? How can higher education institutions move from knowledge generation towards knowledge transfer?

This joint OECD and World Bank review explores a range of helpful policy measures and institutional reforms to mobilise higher education for the development of the Bío Bío Region. It is part of the series of the OECD reviews of Higher Education in Regional and City Development. These reviews help mobilise higher education institutions for economic, social and cultural development of cities and regions. They analyse how the higher education system impacts upon regional and local development and bring together universities, other higher education institutions and public and private agencies to identify strategic goals and to work towards them.

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Assessment and recommendations

Institutional Management in Higher Education

Chile is Latin America’s most successful economy and enjoys great natural wealth. Over recent years the country has made progress not only in economic development, but also in educational reforms. Despite this progress, higher education attainment rates and the R&D intensity remain low. The current OECD/World Bank Review of Higher Education in Regional and City Development in the Bío Bío Region confirms that Chile is ready for the second generation of higher education reforms to improve quality of education, to address challenges in equity and to improve employability outcomes and knowledge transfer. For reasons of both equity and competitiveness, education and the improvement of human capital should continue to be a priority for the Chilean government also in the coming years.


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