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The Role of Small, Comprehensive Universities in Regional Economic Development: Experiences from Two Nordic cases


  • Peter Arbo


  • Heikki Eskelinen



In the recent past, expectations concerning universities have emphasised their active role as driving forces in industrial and regional development. Obviously, this challenge is especially demanding in the universities which have primarily focussed on traditional academic teaching and research activities, and which are located in regions suffering from structural problems. The paper investigates the experience of three Nordic universities, Aarhus in Denmark, Joensuu in Finland, and Tromsö in Norway, which are comparable in several respects. The triple helix framework is used as the theoretical point of reference. In particular, the investigation attempts to clarify the factors which condition the transformation of a university from the academic unit producing qualified labour force for the welfare state towards a policy actor in initiating new economic activities. Drawing from the comparison of the three cases, the conclusions focus on the realisation of a university?s local and regional development potential.

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  • Peter Arbo & Heikki Eskelinen, 2003. "The Role of Small, Comprehensive Universities in Regional Economic Development: Experiences from Two Nordic cases," ERSA conference papers ersa03p530, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa03p530

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby, 1996. "Costly Information in Firm Transformation, Exit, or Persistent Failure," NBER Working Papers 5577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Gonçalves, Maria Eduarda, 1980. "Regional cooperation in marine science : by Lewis M. Alexander University of Rhode Island, Report prepared for the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), the United Nations Ocean Economics ," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 152-154, April.
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    1. Karaman, Fatma & Dogruel, Fatma, 2011. "Regional convergence in Turkey: the role of government in economic environment augmenting activities," MPRA Paper 34271, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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