Higher Education in the 21st Century – Diversity of Missions: Abstract by Jaana Puukka and Francisco Marmolejo


Supporting the contribution of Higher Education Institutions to regional development

Jaana Puukka, OECD Programme on Institutional Management in Higher Education (IMHE)
Francisco Marmolejo, Executive Director, Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration (CONAHEC)

Following decades of expansion in higher education, policy attention in OECD countries has begun to focus on the outcomes of higher education, its quality, relevance and impact. Consequently, there is also a stronger interest in how universities and other higher education institutions contribute to regional development. With the processes of globalisation and localisation, the local availability of knowledge and skills, and the transfer of technology and innovation to SMEs is becoming more and more important. In recent years there have been many initiatives across OECD countries to mobilise higher education in support of regional economic, social and cultural development.

This presentation attempts to draw lessons from the OECD study on "Supporting the Contribution of Higher Education Institutions to Regional Development”. This thematic review project managed by OECD Programme for Institutional Management in Higher Education (IMHE) in collaboration with OECD Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development engaged fourteen regions across twelve countries in 2005-2006. While the review of these regions provides no one-size fit-all solution, it does point to important general issues that need to be considered by higher education institutions, the local and regional stakeholders and national governments.

Key questions include : What is higher education’s regional engagement all about? What are its drivers and barriers? What does it mean to the mission strategy, and governance and management of HEIs, for regions and for nations? And how does it fit with the pursuit of world class academic excellence?

The presentation will highlight the experiences of individual HEIs throughout the OECD countries.



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