Many rapid social, political and economic transformations have been seen in the capitalist world in the last 30 to 40 years, most of these changes have had important outcomes in different regions ofthe world.
These outcomes might be of a very particular nature in relation to the “region” we are referring to, however these “regions” tend to have the same type of external pressures, no matterwhere its geographical position is or if they are considered to be of a developed or developing level.
Therefore, regions do exist within a global context, but they may have a very specific mannerin which they respond to economic, political and social needs and expectations; as Kanter (1995) stated: “to prosper locally in a world economy”. Also taking into account their resources, stakeholdersand interest groups, political context, economic situation, social needs and in a more short description: the regions own context.
In these regions, there are many actors of importance for itsdevelopment such as government and local industry, and currently university is also regarded as another important actor. Several outcomes are expected from these actors and they are surrounded bylegitimacy and accountability issues regarding their interaction and role in a particular region.
As stated, amongst these actors, Higher Education Institutions (HEI) have clearly an important role, a rolethat has grown exponentially in the last years, since in the past, there was not much pressure about the aims and output produced by HEI, they where mainly focused on the important activities ofteaching and research as well as being characterized by “the search of knowledge for its own sake” and occupied with activities surrounding the “advancement of knowledge” basically based on theHumboldtian conception of university. There where no real external pressures regarding their connectivity to their region in regards economic development, innovation, direct service to local community,...
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