Result of three and a half year Erasmus+ funded UASiMAP project

Applied universities are an important part of cities and regions, closely linked to economic and social life. They provide firms with locally relevant practice-based research and highly skilled graduates. They engage with communities in urban and rural areas. They contribute to the governance and development strategies of cities and regions. This was known already, but not how to measure and strengthen impact. The UASiMAP project has developed a framework for self-assessment and benchmarking that is presented in a Flagship Report. It includes an online self-reflection tool, inspired by HEInnovate, and a narrative with numbers template based on Regional Innovation Impact Assessment (RIIA), two initiatives promoted by the European Commission in recent years. Ten Applied Universities piloted the UASiMAP assessment framework, from five countries: Ireland, Belgium (Flanders), Estonia, Hungary and Portugal, assisted by RIIA expert Prof. Robert Tijssen. It was presented In June this year at a side event of the EURASHE Annual Conference in Bucharest, including a keynote address by Prof. Dominique Foray, a founder of the influential Smart Specialisation concept.

EURASHE President Prof. Hannes Raffaseder, CEO of St.Pölten UAS, has welcomed the publication of the UASiMAP report as “a key step forward for measuring and assessing the impact of applied universities across Europe”. Secretary General Dr. John Edwards, remarked that “ever since the Joint Research Centre began its work on Higher Education for Smart Specialisation we knew that UAS are deeply embedded in their regions, but the UASiMAP project has showed how this can be concretely assessed, providing important evidence for policy”.

The UASiMAP Flagship Report can be downloaded here.

EURASHE intends to build on UASiMAP through its further testing in higher education institutions, including the European University Alliances. For more information, please contact [email protected].