Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Egyetemek a régiók versenyképességének javításáért: „negyedik generációs” egyetemek?

Lukovics, Miklós and Zuti, Bence (2014): Egyetemek a régiók versenyképességének javításáért: „negyedik generációs” egyetemek? Published in: Tér és Társadalom / Space and Society , Vol. 28, No. 4 (2014): pp. 77-96.

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Abstract

Many successful examples prove that universities can have a significant role in the enhancement of their regions. Modern economic development demands that due to increased committment to the needs of society and economy, the main traditional activities of universities (education and research) should be broadened and diversified. To be able to optimally exploit their potential regarding regional economic development, the presence of an outstanding educational culture is necessary but not sufficient. It is also necessary to maintain high quality standards regarding research activities and to promote the utilisation of research results among local actors and the local economy (spin-offs). Beyond the well-known typology of the first, second and third generation of universities that describes the above mentioned processes, the concept of the “fourth generation” of universities emerged in international literature although it has not become a topic of general consensus of the scientific community yet. However, it describes interesting facts that are worth considering regarding the economic development effects of universities. We concluded that the most significant distinguishing characteristic is proactivity. Its purpose is to initiate and influence changes in local society and economy in accordance with the demands of a knowledge-based society. The logic of “fourth generation” universities goes beyond the logic of third generation of universities in that “fourth generation” universities would play a larger role in affecting the local area, i.e. they should be able to form their social and economic environment, instead of just answering to local needs. This approach involves the enhancement of strategic aspects and the spread of an innovative and flexible organisational culture. In the case of “fourth generation” universities, besides the education-research-knowledge utilisation triangle, the goal is to prepare for the conscious, planned, future-oriented development of a local economy. In this model, the university is the catalyst and one of the engines of the economy at the same time. It not only contributes to the education of professionals, scientists, entrepreneurs, but also to the formation of their environment. In the case of “fourth generation” universities, multilingual operations may be necessary due to cross-border cooperations and the presence of other network connections. A professional management will be responsible for strategic and operative activities, although local experts and professionals also have a significant role in these actions. This study aims to review and systematise the active and passive activities of universities that can enhance the competitiveness of any given region. We review the available ideas regarding the presence of “fourth generation” universities and we attempt to integrate these into a scholarly grounded framework of university generations. Furthermore we identify and examine the potential existence of success factors or “components” that may generally characterise internationally successful universities with a notable local economic impact.

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