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Universities: Drivers of Regional Development?

Nordregio News Issue 2, 2012


Regional Actor or Centre of Excellence?

The economic concept of a triple helix was developed during the 1990s and illustrates how the post-industrial, knowledge driven economy depends on collaboration between universities, the business sector and public actors. Seen from a regional development perspective, direct access to universities and other producers of knowledge and a highly educated workforce are crucial preconditions for economic growth. In this issue of Nordregio News, we take a closer look at the interplay between higher education and regional development.

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The Roles of Universities in Regional Development

By Maria Lindqvist

Over recent decades, the role of universities has evolved from their traditional focus on education and research to increasingly active participation in regional development processes. Universities are also becoming important actors in regional innovation systems, although their strategies and activities vary across institutions and regions.

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Regional Collaboration in Värmland

By Anders Olsson and Håkan Spjuth

How collaboration between universities and the society may be achieved is not self-evident. In Värmland, some factors contributing to a highly prioritized and shared responsibility for regional development have been identified. Today, close collaboration between regional agencies, the university and prioritized cluster organizations has evolved.

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The Interplay Between Higher Education and Regional Policy: Perspectives from Norway

By Lise Smed Olsen

Norwegian legislation for higher education institutions was amended in 2002 to encourage better coordination of universities and university colleges with the needs of society and the economy. Since then, a number of initiatives have been introduced to provide incentives for higher education institutions to undertake this responsibility, as well as to ensure a high academic standard of education and research.

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