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20 Higher Education Management and Policy, Volume 20 Issue 2

Higher Education and Regional Development

image of Higher Education Management and Policy, Volume 20 Issue 2

The journal of OECD's Programme on Institutional Management in Higher Education.  This special issue concentrates on higher education and regional development and includes articles on engagement of universities in regional development, innovation and regional development, and case studies from the US, Lapland, North East England, Australia,  and Finland.

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Globally Competitive, Locally Engaged

The Case of Kentucky

Institutional Management in Higher Education

The Commonwealth of Kentucky, a state with among the lowest levels of per capita income and education attainment in the United States, embarked on an ambitious set of higher education reforms in 1997 aimed at elevating the state to the national average of educational attainment by 2020. At the time of their enactment, the Kentucky reforms were widely cited as models for other states on how to achieve a stronger link between postsecondary education and the future quality of life and economy of the population. Ten years later, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Task Force on Postsecondary Education commissioned an independent review to determine the state’s progress toward achieving that goal and to identify the tasks and challenges that remain. The Kentucky postsecondary reforms were a complex and interrelated set of means and ends designed to transform the Commonwealth’s standard of living and quality of life. In broad terms, its intent was to develop a seamless, nationally recognised postsecondary education system that would both create a nationally competitive workforce and support the development of an economy that could employ that workforce. The focus of the reforms was not on higher education institutions, per se, but on increasing the capacity of institutions to contribute to the future of the state’s economy and quality of life. In this respect, the reforms reflect many of the themes of the recent OECD report Higher Education and Regions: Globally Competitive, Locally Engaged. 

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