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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
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
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.
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:
 Geoscimo.univ-tlse2.fr
UK, France and Germany: « stable » scientifique countries with moderate growth rates
York, Lancaster and Exeter
+100% to +200%
The UK: a stable landscape,
isolated nodes
with high growth rates
Karlsruhe, Rostock, Jena and Dresden
+100% to +200%
Germany: slowly growing biggest centers,
smaller cities with high growth rates
St Etienne, Chambery,
Cadarache
+100% to +200%
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
Comparison between the evolution of the national
and global impact of major world cities
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)
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
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.
Thank you for your attention !

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Ectqg comparison uk_france_germany

  • 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. 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. 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. 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:  Geoscimo.univ-tlse2.fr
  • 5. UK, France and Germany: « stable » scientifique countries with moderate growth rates
  • 6. York, Lancaster and Exeter +100% to +200% The UK: a stable landscape, isolated nodes with high growth rates
  • 7. Karlsruhe, Rostock, Jena and Dresden +100% to +200% Germany: slowly growing biggest centers, smaller cities with high growth rates
  • 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. Comparison between the evolution of the national and global impact of major world cities
  • 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. 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. 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. Thank you for your attention !