The Geography of Higher Education in Québec, Canada

Québec is mobilised to become an innovation and entrepreneurial leader in North America, giving higher education institutions (HEIs) a central role in this drive. HEIs are pivotal in developing skills and nurturing talent, connecting and contributing to their communities, including firms, public authorities and civil society. The Stratégie québécoise de recherche et d’investissement en innovation (SQRI) has placed HEIs at the fore front of the provincial innovation and entrepreneurship efforts, including with an explicit spatial approach, through the “innovation zones”. This review assesses the “geography of higher education” in Québec through the examination of ten case study HEIs. These case studies represent examples of innovative and entrepreneurial HEIs that support entrepreneurship and innovation in their communities. In particular, the case studies tell the story of the province of Québec in creating sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation, connecting actors and mobilising resources and policies. The review offers actionable policy recommendations to generate further progress in this direction.

Published on May 22, 2023Also available in: French

In series:OECD Skills Studiesview more titles


Preface by the OECD and Council of Innovation
Acronyms and abbreviations
Reader’s guide
Executive Summary
The innovation, entrepreneurship, and HE systems in Québec
The entrepreneurial HEIs in Québec
Higher education institutions in entrepreneurial ecosystems
Place-responsive higher education institutions as policy partners
Unleashing the potential of place-responsive higher education institutions and systems in Québec
Annexes2 chapters available
Measuring the influence of entrepreneurial education on the mindset of students
Measuring the impact of location on R&D transfers between universities and enterprises
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