Impact of higher education institutions on regional economies
We ran a joint research programme to promote better understanding of the economic and social impact of UK higher education institutions on their regions and on the nation.
The programme was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council in partnership with the Scottish Funding Council, Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland, HEFCE and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales. It ran for three years from 2007 to 2010 with a total budget of £3 million.
The following research projects were supported under the programme:
Explores the theoretical insights into the ways universities are engaging with socially excluded communities, including the tensions involved, based on examination of existing university projects.
Higher Education and Regional Transformation: Social and Cultural Perspectives (the HEART project) (Open University)
Explores the relatively under-researched impacts of universities on the social and cultural lives of the communities of which they are a part, including the impact on social cohesion and inclusion, on citizenship and on the alleviation of various forms of social disadvantage.
Students and graduates
Seeks to understand the impacts that students can have:
- as workers in local businesses
- as residents providing a catalyst for neighbourhood change and revitalisation
- as consumers creating a demand for diverse new services
- as contributors to a new image for cities, with more creative 'buzz' and cultural diversity that helps to attract investors, visitors and mobile workers.
The Impact of Economics and Quality of Life on Graduate Flows and subsequent innovative capacity of Cities in the UK (Institute for Employment Studies)
Looks at the spatial unit of the 'city' as a focus for economic activity and seeks to develop a far more inclusive and sophisticated measure of quality of life, including cultural amenities (parks, museums and so on), crime, environmental measures, health care provision, housing quality, availability, and cost.
Higher Education Institution Knowledge and its impact on regional competitiveness (University of Sheffield)
Analyses the impact of knowledge generated by higher education institutions (HEIs) on the competitiveness of those regions within which the respective HEIs (in the UK), examining the influences of types of knowledge, flow mechanisms and actors 'receiving' knowledge.
Impact of Research and Innovation Networks on Regional Competitiveness: The role of HEIs (University of Manchester)
Aims to deepen empirically based understanding of the impacts of HEIs on the innovativeness and competitiveness of regional economies, looking from both business and HEI perspectives.
University-Industry Knowledge Exchange: Demand Pull, Supply Push and the Public Space role of Higher Education Institutions in the UK Regions (University of Cambridge)
Research to identify the factors that affect the incidence, form, effectiveness and regional impact of knowledge exchange activities between higher education and private, public and third sectors in the UK, and variations across UK regions and within those regions.
Examines linkages between university research departments and private sector innovation activity, to investigate whether firms locate their research and development facilities near to university research departments, and whether the quality of university research matters for the extent of geographic clustering.
Draws on new micro-econometric research and the results of projects across the overall programme to inform wider impact analysis.
For further information about these research projects contact Alice Frost, tel 0117 931 7428, e-mail email@example.com.