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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Contribution of higher education to human capital development

Institutional Management in Higher Education

This chapter examines how effectively higher education institutions in the Bío Bío Region contribute to meeting the social and economic needs of the population in terms of opportunities to study and the relevance of qualifications offered. It highlights the linkages between the regional economy and higher education, as well as recent trends in demography and human capital development. It sheds light on the positive outcomes of increasing participation rates and widening access to higher education. Finally, it identifies major challenges facing the regional higher education system including high dropout rates, limited alignment of higher education to the regional labour market and the absence of region-wide governance structures and mechanisms to articulate a long term vision of human capital development in the region. The chapter closes with a series of recommendations on how to improve human capital development in the region.


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