Mobilising higher education for cities and regions: OECD reviews of HE in Regional and City Development

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Author(s)Jaana Puukka
Higher education drives growth and innovation in cities and regions and can help them become more innovative and globally competitive. Reviews of Higher Education in Regional and City Development are the OECD’s vehicle to mobilise higher education institutions (HEIs) for economic and social development. The reviews facilitate stronger collaboration between HEIs and governments at all levels and provide regions with tools and ideas to harness the innovation potential of higher education. They draw together ‘town and gown’ and link HEIs to public and private agencies to identify and work towards strategic goals. Drawing the lessons and key conclusions from the OECD publication ‘Higher Education and Regions - globally competitive; locally engaged’ (OECD, 2007) reporting on the first round of reviews in 2004-2007 of 14 regions in 12 countries as well as the preliminary lessons from the second round in 2008-2010 which is reaching out to 15 new regions in 11 countries, this presentation highlights the economic and social benefits of higher education for cities and regions, and discusses why local and regional development is becoming more important in the era of globalisation. It highlights good practice examples on how HEIs can strengthen regional innovation systems, human capital development and social and cultural development in their cities and regions. It identifies constraints for more active engagement of HEIs at national, regional and institutional level and suggests how these constrains can be removed. Finally, it argues that the HEIs can be best mobilised for economic and social development in the context of cities and regions and by mainstreaming this work in teaching and research.
CategoriesResearch Developement and Innovation » 2009 19th Annual Conference