Universities could play a stronger role in the economic, cultural and social development of their regions, according to this report, which argues that regional engagement by universities is beneficial both to local development and the institutions themselves.

Among the conclusions of the study is that the potential of higher education institutions to contribute to the economic, social and cultural development of their regions is far from being fully realised. For example, it is estimated that only 10 per cent of UK firms currently interact with universities. Most university-industry links focus on big business and a few hi-tech fields. At the same time, services account for 70 per cent of the OECD workforce and cultural industries are becoming a major driver globally, accounting for 7 per cent of GDP and growing at 10 per cent annually.

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