There has never been a more demanding time for universities to step up and contribute to the places in which they are located. Beyond their role as centres of teaching and research excellence, the knowledge and skills within universities are being harnessed to resolve even more complex challenges within cities and regions. COVID-19 has demonstrated how this excellence has been utilised in the medical field, but there is an increasing expectation for universities to play a greater and more prominent role in local and regional development, planning, urban design, housing, transport, wellbeing and digitisation. How do these roles manifest? And what are the implications for both universities and the future of their cities and regions? There have been several attempts recently to understand and shape frameworks to help universities and policy makers understand the role and contribution of higher education to local and regional change. This talk explores what's happening on the ground, what the implications might be, and how the university and regional government can adopt ways to address the specific institutional and local contexts in which they find themselves.
This session is informal in nature and interactivity and questions to the speakers will be welcomed. It takes the form of a TED style talk with a short and lively presentation followed by time for questions and comments from the audience. The speakers will be drawing from their recent project funded by the Regional Studies Association and the associated policy book from this grant – Putting Universities in their Place: An evidence based approach to understanding the contribution of higher education to local and regional development. All are welcome to attend.