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Measuring the impact of university-business cooperation

June042014

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Despite a long history, cooperation activities between businesses and universities in the field of education have a relatively low profile.  However, there are signs that there is now an increasing recognition of the value to be gained from such collaborations.

 

Whilst there is no single driver for university-business cooperation, businesses, universities and students all value the benefits to the student experience and its contribution to the employability of students. 

There are many ways in which cooperation activities take place. Most cooperation activities involve more than one form of cooperation and may also change over time as activities mature, evolve, or reach the end of their lifespan.  

Through this study, numerous benefits of university-business cooperation in the field of education have been identified.  These effects range from the tangible to the intangible, the direct to the indirect, and the quantitative to the qualitative.

The benefits of collaboration can be broadly described as falling into four categories, namely:

  • Those that are aimed at strengthening levels of human capital, with labour supply and employment implications;
  • Those that relate to stimulating entrepreneurship through teaching and learning;
  • Those that relate to knowledge exchange, aimed at promoting or stimulating product/process innovation or new pedagogy;
  • Those that relate to raising the profile of an organization.

The report shows that established methodologies for measuring, or assessing, the outcomes and impact of business-university cooperation in the field of education are quite limited.

This report presents two, linked, approaches that can be used to assess university-business cooperation in the field of education: a scorecard and an assessment framework that can be used for project planning and the assessment of investment proposals. Both can be used for assessing the progress of projects, from different perspectives, and both can be used for assessing the success of cooperation projects.

 

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