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The Geography of Higher Education in Québec, Canada

image of The Geography of Higher Education in Québec, Canada

Québec is mobilised to become an innovation and entrepreneurial leader in North America, giving higher education institutions (HEIs) a central role in this drive. HEIs are pivotal in developing skills and nurturing talent, connecting and contributing to their communities, including firms, public authorities and civil society. The Stratégie québécoise de recherche et d’investissement en innovation (SQRI) has placed HEIs at the fore front of the provincial innovation and entrepreneurship efforts, including with an explicit spatial approach, through the “innovation zones”. This review assesses the “geography of higher education” in Québec through the examination of ten case study HEIs. These case studies represent examples of innovative and entrepreneurial HEIs that support entrepreneurship and innovation in their communities. In particular, the case studies tell the story of the province of Québec in creating sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation, connecting actors and mobilising resources and policies. The review offers actionable policy recommendations to generate further progress in this direction.

English Also available in: French

Reader’s guide

Over the past four decades, the role of higher education institutions (HEIs) in their surrounding ecosystems has changed. In connection with their teaching and research, HEIs collaborate with external stakeholders and support entrepreneurs, contributing to growth and well-being, especially in their own communities and networks. The interconnections between HEIs and their stakeholders may enhance the performance and resilience of all the parties involved. We assume that physical proximity plays an important role connecting actors and aligning agendas. For a discussion about the interaction between different kinds of proximity, see (Boschma, 2005[11]). For this reason, it is possible to describe these “spaces” as “entrepreneurial ecosystems” (or local ecosystems) and the HEIs as “entrepreneurial universities”.

English Also available in: French

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