Review of higher education institutions in regional development 2008-10: The City-Region of Rotterdam, the Netherlands


The OECD review report is available here.


The executive summary is available here.


Outside the Netherlands Rotterdam is best known for its port – once the busiest in the world, and still the busiest in Europe. But the docks have moved steadily downstream and the centre of Rotterdam is very different from what it was even 50 years ago. A young and dynamic city, Rotterdam is one of the few in Europe where the average age of the population is decreasing. It is ethnically and culturally diverse and has high potential for attracting the “creative class”. The Rotterdam region is home to two leading research universities and several other innovative higher education institutions. This report looks at how to encourage growth in the Rotterdam region, through the transfer of technology and knowledge, and through realising the potential of its people.


By participating in the OECD Reviews of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Regional Development the region hopes to support its development goals:

  • Speeding up economic transition
  • Stimulating an innovative business climate
  • Improving the city environment
  • Restructuring large parts of the city
  • Improving the accessibility of city and port
  • Reducing the emission of greenhouse gases
  • Stimulating the co-operation between the region and the HEIs
  • Focussing research on regional needs
  • Measuring the impact of HEIs on regional development


More about Rotterdam, its higher education institutions, and its HEIs' role in city-region development


Key issues in Rotterdam

  • Integration of immigrant population
  • Upskilling the workforce
  • Economic transition from (mass)production and transport to design, innovation and services


Regional Co-ordinator in Rotterdam

Prof Marianne Donker
Chief Science Officer

Municipality of Rotterdam
P.O. Box 70012
3000 KP Rotterdam
The Netherlands


HE and regions start page



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