Supporting the contribution of higher education institutions to regional development - Design and implementation



This project aimed to strengthen the contributions of higher education institutions by devising steps to improve the interplay and mutual capacity building between HEIs and their regional stakeholders and partners at different territorial levels.

More specifically, this project was intended to: 

  • raise awareness amongst HEIs and their regional stakeholders of the need to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the partnerships between them
  • provide a methodology and evaluation framework for HEIs and regional higher education groupings to monitor and compare the activities and achievements in their international context
  • provide an opportunity for dialogue between HEIs and national and regional stakeholders about their contribution to the economic, social and cultural development of their region (including knowledge exploitation by business, skills enhancement of the population, work with disadvantaged communities, engagement with the arts)
  • assist regional governments and their agencies, HEIs and other stakeholders to identify appropriate roles and partnerships within their regions
  • provide policy advice at national level on issues that emerge from the analysis (e.g. the impact of special funding initiatives at a regional and institutional level)
  • assist HEIs to articulate their mission, evaluate their contribution and thereby contribute to their viability
  • lay the foundations of an international network for further discussion and exchange of ideas and issues around good practice and self-evaluation techniques in HEIs’ regional engagement

Key Elements of the Overall Project

  • Launch workshop for participants
  • Analysis of relevant research conducted in various policy domains
  • Regional reviews against a set of agreed broad principles that include dialogue, stakeholder collaboration, learning, and leadership commitment. The major elements of the reviews will be:
    - Joint self evaluation by HEIs & regional stakeholders
    - A site visit by an international team of experts
    - A peer review report and joint response from the region and its institutions
  • Analysis and synthesis by the project task group
  • Production of a final report and dissemination at one or more knowledge sharing conferences

Expected Outcomes

  • A set of joint regional self-evaluation reports (HEIs & regional stakeholders), prepared by all participating regions, which will support both the wider analytical work and focused site visits by peer review teams
  • A set of peer review reports, prepared by the teams of experts, which will include specific recommendations for regions/HEIs reviewed
  • An international synthesis report summarising the issues and recommendations, drawing upon the regional self-evaluation reports, peer review reports, and the analytical work undertaken by the project task group and the secretariat.

Dissemination activities included country-hosted seminars and international conferences in Karlstad (October 2005), in Copenhagen (October 2006) and in Valencia (September 2007). All self-evaluation reports and peer review reports are published on this website.

More detailed information on design and implementation plan for the project
Aide Memoire for Regions Participating in the OECD Project
Guildelines for Regional Review Visits
Guidelines for preparing Peer Review Report
Guidelines for the Pre-Visit