The concept of the learning region is central to the way of problem-solving. Like 'lifelong learning' the term is used variously and carelessly. This book explores the meaning and importance of the learning region. Not all universities warm to such local-regional engagement. The unwise pride of global forces and nations undermines it; but even the most prestigious and 'global' university has a local footprint and ever-watchful neighbours. The book arises from the work of PASCAL, an international non-governmental network Observatory. Its name exploits echoes of philosophical depth as well as technical modernity of language, taking the concepts of Place, Social Capital and Learning together with the vital connecting conjunctions of And, to define its mission. At the heart of the story is PASCAL's experience of working with multiple regions and their universities on their experience with engagement. The book examines in turn several central strands mainly of policy but also of process that are illuminated by the PASCAL Universities and Regional Engagement (PURE) project. The PURE processes and outcomes, despite limitations and severe disruption by forces located outside the region and often too the nation, show the potential gain from international networking and shared activities. The book also discusses internal arrangements within the administration before turning to external relations: both with the university and tertiary sector and with other stakeholders in the private and third sectors. Regional innovation systems require entrepreneurialism inside government, higher education and training, as well as within industry from small and medium enterprises to multinationals.
find themselves open to critical scrutiny
and obliged to show value for money.
Higher education is a universally acknowledged main seat of learning. We turn
to this in the next chapter. Yet learning is also increasingly important in the region,
at least in the sense that lifelong learning in ‘the learningregion’ has become
towards mode two knowledge production
an almost automatic policy precept. It is especially salient in the language and
policies of the EU. Here and throughout the book we ask what it really means
American university. Is the ‘extraordinary something’
a rediscovery, as the ‘ivory tower’ suffers the slow death of a thousand cuts? Yes in
part; it is also something different, in a very different world.
It is a world characterised as global–local. As the 2008 global financial crisis
(GFC) persists and extends, the idea of the learningregion attracts wider attention as a policy proposition. It is central to this study. Its appeal has waxed and
waned over the years, finding more favour in some parts of the world than others,
depending on countries’ political
its performance and development; as a well-engaged partner as much as in terms
of visible and measured outcomes. Here benchmarking can be an active tool for
learning (see Chapter 10) and a measure of behaving as a learningregion.
Engaging with the university and tertiary sector
Across the countries represented in PURE, regions have not in the main been
good at engaging with universities, as was noted in Chapter 3. Universities on
the other side have, one might argue with less justification, mostly been as bad or
worse. The next part of this chapter reminds us
about how social systems, institutions and governments as well as placebased communities learn, continue learning and apply their learning to managing
two key partners: (2) higher education
better. As we have seen in Chapter 3, the concept of a learningregion combines
lifelong learning with the idea of learning in and as a locality – what PASCAL
recognises in relation to place-making. These changes prompt questions about how
social systems, institutions and governments as well as place-based communities