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Ectqg comparison uk_france_germany


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Slides presented at the 22th European Colloquium on Theoretical and Quantitative Geography (ECTQG), 7-11 September 2017, York, UK. It presents the methodology of a new research which aims at comparing the geography of academic places in France, Germany and the UK using bibliometric and socio-economic data. The context of national policies of research is central for this research.

Published in: Science
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Ectqg comparison uk_france_germany

  1. 1. The evolving geography of academic places in France, Germany, and the UK (1999-2014) Denis Eckert (Centre Marc Bloch, Germany), Marion Maisonobe (FR INCREASE – CNRS, France), John Harrisson (Loughborough University, UK) Harrison, J., Smith, D. P. and Kinton, C. (2016), New institutional geographies of higher education: The rise of transregional university alliances, Environment and Planning A, DOI: 10.1177/0308518X15619175
  2. 2. The search for excellence In Germany, France and the UK, the last 15 years have witnessed the launch of targeted policies aiming at concentrating research fundings on a few spots:  “Excellence” policies in Germany (Exzellenzclusters)  “Politiques d’Excellence” such as Labex and IdEx in France  The “Research Excellence Framework” in the UK with a differentiation between research intensive universities and teaching universities
  3. 3. Four main research objectives  Reveal through visualisation techniques and spatial mapping the transforming geographies of academic science (looking at new spatial patterns)  Critically analyse the spatial impact of science development policies (e.g. “research excellence”, “research concentration”, “research collaboration”)  Perform in-depth “case-studies” in order to document locally the impacts of the recent developments of academic science and of public policies  Consider the wider societal and political-economic impact of changes to the geography of academic science.
  4. 4. Visualisation techniques and spatial mapping + quantitative analyses We rely on the existing spatial methodology that has been developped in the frame of the ANR Geoscience and LABEX-SMS projects It allows us: - To delineate urban areas perimeters (clusters of localities from which scientific articles are signed) according to an homegenous criteria at the world level - To assign biblimetric data (scientific publications, collaboration and citation data) as well as economic and demographic data to these urban units and then perform spatial analyses The spatial methodology and the interactive map of the scientific production growth by urban areas are available following this web link: 
  5. 5. UK, France and Germany: « stable » scientifique countries with moderate growth rates
  6. 6. York, Lancaster and Exeter +100% to +200% The UK: a stable landscape, isolated nodes with high growth rates
  7. 7. Karlsruhe, Rostock, Jena and Dresden +100% to +200% Germany: slowly growing biggest centers, smaller cities with high growth rates
  8. 8. St Etienne, Chambery, Cadarache +100% to +200%
  9. 9. A world-cities advantage in terms of scientific visibility?  The spatial deconcentration process of the scientific production in these 3 countries is followed by a spatial deconcentration process of the scientific visibility  In there respective countries, researchers working in London, Berlin and Paris tend to be as much cited as the researchers working in provincial cities
  10. 10. Comparison between the evolution of the national and global impact of major world cities
  11. 11. The main issue we want to address  National policies that tend to concentrate the funding on the biggest scientific spots are based on the assumption that there is a « critical mass effect » or « agglomeration effect » benefiting to the scientific visibility of researchers located in the biggest hubs of scientific activity  On the contrary, what we observe is that while the ressources have been concentrated in a few areas, the secondary sites, the ones that have been deprived of ressources by these policies have tended to perform better in terms of production and visibility  But it might be that the situation change if national governments keep increasing the inequalities between their higher education and research institutions (see the recent increase in the impact discrepancies between UK cities)
  12. 12. Visualisation techniques and spatial mapping perspectives  We need to develop new visualisation techniques and produce maps that will help the comparison between the 3 countries under scrutiny  The main challenge will be to multiply the scales of analysis, as well as the data sources in order to have a comprehensive overview of the spatial and socio-economical dynamics that characterize the academic sector in these 3 countries
  13. 13. General perspectives What remains to be done:  looking at the relation between the spatial deconcentration process of scientific activities and the changing socio-economic context related to the scientific and higher education sector (new ways of allocating ressources, decrease in the number of permanent positions)  exploring the relation between the 3 differents research systems (their level of devolution, the level of autonomy of their universities…) and their scientific performance  case-studies (3-4 per country), in order to document locally the interrelations between local & national academic development policies, regional economic specialisations and actual evolution of scientific research implemented in each city.
  14. 14. Thank you for your attention !