Universities and Regional Engagement : From the Exceptional to the Everyday book cover
1st Edition

Universities and Regional Engagement
From the Exceptional to the Everyday

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ISBN 9780367713072
February 28, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
256 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The study of universities’ role in regional engagement has traditionally been focusing on exceptional cases. This book presents a reconceptualision which embraces its underlying complexity, and proposes a roadmap for a renewed research agenda. Starting from the grassroots level of universities’ "everyday" engagements, the book delves into the manifold ways in which university knowledge agents build connections with regional partners.

Through eleven empirical chapters, the authors not only chart the diversity amongst case institutions, engagement mechanisms and regional contexts, but also use that diversity to advance a novel conceptual framework for unpacking university-regions’ everyday activities, taking into account the dynamic, complex and co-evolving interplay between (a) key social agents and institutions, (b) the contexts in which they are embedded, as well as (c) the historical trajectories and strategic ambitions underpinning context-specific social- arrangements and interactions that are mediated by temporal and spatial dimensions.

Drawing on evolutionary economic geography, innovation studies, management and organisation studies, and historical perspectives, the volume advances a new mode of understanding university-regional engagement as a form of extendable temporary coupling, which also helps to address perennial policy and managerial questions alike of what to do with universities that do not serve local labour market needs, and/or are located in regions suffering from brain drain. The book illustrates such dynamics from diverse national contexts: Brazil, Caribbean, China, Italy, Norway, and Poland.

This book will be valuable reading for advanced students, researchers and policy makers working in economic geography, regional development, innovation and higher education management.

Table of Contents

  1. Universities’ Mundaneness and Regional Engagement: Setting the stage Elisa Thomas; Rómulo Pinheiro; Tatiana Iakovleva; Laila Nordstrand Berg; Paul Benneworth 2. Unpacking mundaneness: A novel conceptual framework for universities and regional engagement Rómulo Pinheiro; Tatiana Iakovleva; Laila Nordstrand Berg; Elisa Thomas; Paul Benneworth 3. Changes and continuities in the development of rural teacher education in the fjords of Western Norway Laila Nordstrand Berg; Gunnar Yttri 4. University Dynamic Capabilities to Boost Innovation Ecosystems: the case of a University Alliance in Brazil Kadígia Faccin; Elisa Thomas; Caroline Kretschmer 5. Exploring the role of the university in the creation of knowledge networks in the Aso Valley, a rural area in Marche Region (Italy) Sabrina Tomasi; Concetta Ferrara; Gigliola Paviotti; Chiara Aleffi; Alessio Cavicchi; Bertella Giovanna 6. The third mission – enhancing academic engagement with industry Tatiana Iakovleva; Mette Adkins 7. Student Entrepreneurship Programs in Higher Education Institutions: Multi-scalar Embeddedness and heterogenous regional responses Øyvind Midtbø Berge; Øystein Stavø Høvig; Svein Gunnar Sjøtun 8. Student Incubators in China: The Cases in Shanghai and Wuhan Dian Liu 9. Aligning University Roles and Strategic Orientations: When Local Mandates and Global Aspirations Meet Iyad Abualrub; Rómulo Pinheiro 10. Emergent strategies and tensions between decoupled university structures and strategic management initiatives: A case study of a strategy process James Karlsen; Rómulo Pinheiro 11. Towards the strategic cooperation of ‘two worlds’: University-local government relationships in Warsaw Anna Dąbrowska; Wojciech Dziemianowicz; Magdalena Cybulska 12. Keeping Talents in the Region? Educational Internships and Their Impact on Regional Development Laila Nordstrand Berg; Kristin Lofthus Hope 13. Activist Leadership in the Caribbean: The case of The University of the West Indies Elin Oftedal; Emily Dick-Forde; Luz Longsworth 14. Universities and Regions: New insights and emerging developments Laila Nordstrand Berg; Elisa Thomas; Tatiana Iakovleva; Rómulo Pinheiro; Paul Benneworth

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Tatiana Iakovleva holds a Professor of Entrepreneurship in Stavanger Business School, University of Stavanger, Norway.

Elisa Thomas is an Associate Professor at Nord University and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Stavanger, in Norway. Her research interests include entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems, the role of universities in developing entrepreneurship and innovation, start-up incubators and technology parks, and open innovation intermediaries.

Laila Nordstrand Berg is an Associate Professor at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

Rómulo Pinheiro is Professor of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Agder (UiA), Norway.

Paul Benneworth was Professor of Innovation and Regional Development at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.


"The growth and significance of universities and education more widely, has become ever more important in stimulating innovation and economic developments across nations and regions. This edited book provides a perspective into how higher education institutions and other agents operate by using a unique three tier macro, meso and micro lens to view such relationships and the interplay of universities and educational providers with their external environment. This book is both timely and rewarding to the reader in providing such a rich conceptual framework and it covers a wide and diverse set of case studies across the globe." — Jeremy Howells, Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law, University of Portsmouth

"For too long, the academic and practitioner debate on the role of universities has focused on a narrow view of commercialisation and knowledge exchange, drawing from a limited number of ‘best practice’ cases. This edited book offers a necessary and timely counterview to this idealised picture. It focuses instead on the ‘mundaneness’ of universities’ regional engagement, unpacking their complex and context specific institutional arrangements, practices and interactions. It is a must-read for scholars and practitioners interested in understanding regional development, innovation and higher education in real places." — Elvira Uyarra Professor of Innovation Studies, University of Manchester

"This is a very welcome book which expands the discussion of universities’ regional engagement both thematically and geographically by going beyond the well-known cases to explore the mundane, but important, regional engagement activities of a wide range of universities. Universities and their academics engage with regional actors in a myriad of ways, most of which go under the radar both in policy-making and in research. This book is a step towards redressing this imbalance." — Rune Dahl Fitjar, Pro-rector for Innovation and Society and Professor of Innovation Studies, University of Stavanger

 "This book is important because it conceptualizes and provides examples of the broad range of mundane activities that makes up the majority of linkages between a university and its region. These everyday engagements connecting universities with their region are often neglected, while the attention has been on extraordinary cases of highly innovative regions and the commercialization of research with high economic impact. The chapters in this book are of great value for understanding how typical universities can engage with their region in a profound way." — Einar Rasmussen, Professor of Technology Management, Nord University