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OECD Reviews Of Higher Education in Regional and City Development: Building Stronger, Fairer and Cleaner Regions – Jaana Puukka
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OECD Reviews Of Higher Education in Regional and City Development: Building Stronger, Fairer and Cleaner Regions – Jaana Puukka



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  • Since 2005, OECD has reviewed over 30 regions in 20+ countries. During 2005-07, we reviewed 14 regions in 12 countries. This first round had a strong European focus: 9 of the 14 reviews took place in European regions and 5 of them in Nordic countries. There were important gaps, e.g. US was not included in the first round. During the second round in 2008-11, we reached out to 14 regions in 11 countries. In line with the OECD enlargement strategy these reviews had a wider reach also to non-member economies (some of which have become OECD members during the review process such as Chile and Israel). The final review round under the OECD education directorate has reached out to 6 regions: the Free State (South Africa), Sonora (MX), Wroclaw (PL), Antioquia (COL). Preparations are now under way to ensure that this work can be followed up in OECD LEED with a stronger focus on entrepreneurship, skills and local growth.
  • The reviews investigate The role of teaching and learning in the development of human capital and skills : Investing in people, their skills and their education is key for inclusive growth and jobs The contribution of HEIs’ research to regional innovation  The contribution of HEIs to social, cultural and environmental development  The role of HEIs in building regional capacity to act in an increasingly competitive global economy Key questions What policies, practices and mechanisms promote mobilisation of higher education for regional and city development?  How to make reforms happen? Which brings greater benefits to cities and regions a high performing regionally focused HE system or a single world class university?
  • Limited strategic anchoring within HEIs and within the HE “system” . Regionally relevant action is often not reflected in strategic development, curriculum development or budget allocation of HEIs. HEIs’ funding arrangements do not provide sufficient alignment of institutional mission with the regional and local needs and priorities. The system of institutionally steered incentives and support activities linking HE/research with the region remain inadequate. A lack of system coherence resulting in limited legitimacy of the needs and priorities of the city/region among HEIs. Regionally and locally relevant activities are predominantly viewed by HEIs as a “third mission”, not linked to research or academic subjects, limiting the effort and resources invested in them. Incentives enable isolated initiatives, but their impact is diminished due to their non-co-ordinated character. A co-ordination deficit within local/regional HE system. HEIs are each delivering their own range of activities and services with limited co-ordination, collaboration and sharing of good practice, leading to duplication of efforts and difficulties in monitoring the results. The co-ordination of information and action on the part of the public agencies, HEI and various stakeholders needs to be improved. Weak evidence base. The system of information gathering about the regional environment, the successes and failures of respective activities of HEIs, is limited in scope and quality which make it difficult to evaluate the outcomes of local policies and institutional practices. Lack of robust data on innovation performance in the private sector, student progress, graduate employment, graduate destinations (outmigration), the scope of work-based learning activities. Disconnect between university technology transfer models and regional and local development and growth University technology transfer models can lead to saleable intellectual property and start-ups, but seldom produce enterprises that grow in the region and contribute to regional economic development. A well functioning regional knowledge transfer model would require ongoing relationship between HE and industry to determine what innovations have the best opportunities for adoption and commercialisation, creating an industry-university learning environment. It supports the skills development required to adopt and apply process and product innovations and works with SMEs and large corporations. It stimulates the creation of high value added jobs. It measures success in terms of the sustainability and transformation of regional industry and employment growth.


  • 2. 2
  • 3. Cities and Regions under review Since 2005, more than 30 cities and regions in over 20 countries have gone through the reviews. 2005 - 2007 2010 - 2012 2008 - 2011 Kazan 2007
  • 4. What is under review? Global, National and Regional Context Focus of analysis of the review
  • 5. How are the reviews conducted?
  • 6. Penang, Malaysia
  • 7. Victoria, Australia 7
  • 8. Barriers to HE engagement
  • 9. Gaps 9
  • 10. Increase strategic anchoring and connect knowledge transfer and regional growth:University Rovira i Virgili, ES Photographys credits: University of Rovirar i Virgili
  • 11. Bio Bio region, ChileImprove coordination of HE system andpool resources: Knowledge House in NEof England, UK Map credits: Google Maps™ Images credits: Knowledge House, Durham University, University of Teesside
  • 12. Widen access and ensure success,Victoria University, Melbourne, AUS Images credits: Aalborg Uni
  • 13. Develop relevant skills & competences:Cooperative Education, the University ofWaterloo, CA Map credits: Google Maps™ Images credits: Waterloo University
  • 14. Support people-based knowledge transfer:Knowledge Transfer Partnerships KTPs, UK Images credits: Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, Technology Strategy Board, Solutions for Business
  • 15. Pointers for universities 15
  • 16.