The Economic Contribution of Students to the Regional Economy

Session organisers:
  • Shiri M. Breznitz (University of Toronto, Canada)
  • Helen Lawton Smith (University of London, UK)

This special session addresses the issue of uneven regional development from the perspective of the contribution of students and graduates of universities to regional economies. The specific contribution of the collection of papers is to explore the dynamics of the ways in which student activity affects the entrepreneurial, skill and knowledge bases of regions. Particular interest are papers presenting empirical evidence on universities’ roles in nurturing, attracting and retaining students, in both developed and less favoured regions.

We are interested in papers that make a contribution through the exploration of two inter-related themes each of which has a regional policy dimension, both short and long term:

  • The reality of the anticipated impact of institutional and regional contexts in both nurturing student firm formation, thus adding to regional enterprise with the associated supply and demand for labour, and the later retention of those firms.
  • Graduate mobility, analyzing the extent to which universities contribute to regional human capital and knowledge endowments leading to regional economic development by considering retention, inflows and outflows.


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