Loris Perotti

Universities and Economic system: a difficult relationship

  • Abstract

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Nowadays many policy makers and a large part of the European countries seem to be persuaded that only the introduction of market (or quasi-market) logics in higher education can bring the universities closer to the needs of the society and (local) economy. A lot of books explain us that new «entrepreneurial» universities would reach two goals: to help companies to be more competitive and to solve problems of financial sustainability of mass higher education. Despite these optimistic assumptions, the article attempts to describe the complicated links connecting universities, firms and the public sector in each country. Through some evidence from recent university reforms in Europe, the author shows that the implementation of market logics and the adoption of entrepreneurial behaviours by universities can both benefit and damage the economic system, and that different forms of cooperation between economy and universities do exist, as effective as market regulation in fostering relationships between companies and academic researchers.

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