Higher education institutions (HEIs) are urged to play an increasingly more active role in regional development. This presentation builds on the multi-annum international comparative work on higher education in cities and regions that the speaker carried out under the auspices of the OECD between 2005 and 2013, as well as recent research sponsored by the Association of University Research Parks (AURP). The OECD reviews of higher education in regional and city development engaged hundreds of different types of higher education institutions and their stakeholders in more than 30 cities or regions in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. Building on this evidence and experience the presentation outlines the benefits of HEIs’ regional engagement, the key approaches as well as gaps and barriers. A set of case studies are presented to show different ways governments and institutions can boost the role that HEIs play in regional development. Finally, major lessons for regional engagement of HEIs and keys to success are highlighted.
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