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Type: Conference paper
Title: University-Regional Partnership in a Period of Structural Adjustment : Lessons from Southern Adelaide's Response to an Automobile Plant Closure
Author: Beer, A.
Cooper, J.
Citation: Australian Universities Community Engagement Alliance National Refereed Conference Proceedings 2005 (Online), pp.59-76
Publisher: AUCEA
Issue Date: 2005
ISBN: 9780980361032
Conference Name: Australian Universities Community Engagement Alliance National Conference (2005 : Melbourne, Victoria)
Statement of
Andrew Beer & Joan Cooper
Abstract: This paper examines some of the issues that arise out of partnerships between universities and regions. It draws upon the experience of Flinders University in working with a range of regional agents in responding to the closure of the Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) plant at Lonsdale in Adelaide’s southern suburbs. The paper suggests that there are a number of hurdles to the establishment of effective partnerships that include: the perception that universities behave in ways that are different to either public or private sector organisations; the absence of universities from the networks and communication protocols central to the work of economic development practitioners; the sporadic nature of university engagement with regional issues; and, the gap between university funding models and local economic aspirations. The paper also finds that government-established mechanisms for regional development may be flawed, especially if they are dominated by representatives of the public sector. The research concludes that current policy preoccupations with the development of commercially valuable Intellectual Property results in a heavy discounting of other economic impacts. Finally, the paper argues that a pathway for effective engagement between universities and their regions can be established, but such initiatives require considerable time, patience and understanding on the part of all parties. Periods of regional economic stress may not be the most appropriate periods for establishing these working relationships.
Rights: Copyright status unknown
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