The third report from the UNICREDS project was published today. The report explores the benefits of collaborative universities within the local economy and communities and the processes by which those benefits are embedded. Written by UNICREDS partners at the Combined Universities in Cornwall, the report draws on the work of the project partners in all seven UNICREDS regions, bringing a wealth of experience and aspiration which underpins the research findings.
The dominant view in development theory and policy is that knowledge is a key condition of economic growth and wealth creation. In recent years, governments have stimulated knowledge-based economic development through the commitment of public funds, economic policies and a wide variety of other supporting measures. Higher Education Institutions are given an important and mostly new role: to be a direct institutional partner – thus going beyond a response of individual academics to the challenges and opportunities in their respective field - in achieving better balanced development and growth in the local, regional and national economy.
As part of the work leading to this report, a large number of economic and community benefits have been identified, that can be attributed to virtually every Higher Education Institution in the Western world regardless of their specific location, circumstances, scope and mission. These give a further picture of the wide range of benefits that investing in higher education brings to regional development. The report then focuses in on individual UNICREDS regions to see what What specific economic and community needs are addressed in these different regions and the benefits that higher education brings for regional development. Finally, best practice examples and policy recommendations are given.