Impact of Higher Education Institutions on Regional Economies: A Joint Research Initiative



Background to the Initiative

The social and economic role of higher education institutions

UK higher education institutions (HEIs)  can play a significant role in the economy.They are extensive businesses employing large numbers of people and generating substantial export earnings for the UK. They are also part of local, regional, national and international networks influencing the political, social, cultural and economic climate.

It is recognised that HEIs have an extensive social and economic role and their impact as businesses is well understood. However much less is known about the full impact of HEI activities and the processes through which HEIs may generate benefits for wider society.

To better understand  these issues the ESRC, in partnership with the SFC DEL, HEFCE and HEFCW, established the Impact of HEIs on regional economies initiative.   

The initiative ran in two stages:

Stage One involved the establishment of five networks of researchers and policy makers to  survey existing research and identify the gaps in the current state of knowledge. 

Further information on Stage one and links to download network reports

Stage Two involved a call for research proposals across five themes . Nine projects were selected, ranging from 12 to 36 months in time span. The first project began on 1st March 2007 and the last project will finish on 31 March 2010.