Topic of the practice
Local campus created by towns and/or regions
Good Practice Information
The practice is that a town or a region or part of a region creates a local campus without trying to create a new university, nor persuading a university to build a branch campus. The main stakeholders are the municpalities and the regional authorities - sometimes in cooperation with businesses and regional universities. Regional and other universities are invited to such platform, in order to host and offer education and to recruit local, national and international students. The owner of the campus (in most cases a town or a region) lets premises to universities, and tries to get reasonable partial financing for regional study counselling services, library services and research labs, building restaurants and cafeterias etc. The next step is to try to get the universities to cooperate with or tolerate one another locally, whereas the campus owner and coordinating organization tries to accomplish a good total array of education offerings.
The key factors are to have untraditional students in the region, and to be able to motivate these by offering access to qualified jobs. The businesses are motivated to cooperate as regards work-force provision that is relevant for them and to establish contacts with this local university sector. A university campus is also a positive development symbol for every municipality in the knowledge society, a symbol that one cannot do without. Key factors for universites are the proximity needed to reach untraditional student groups that are not willing to move to a main campus, and to cooperate with regional businesses. Another good thing for them is the reduction of investment in infrastructure.
Evidence of success
By this concept, along with the possibility to discuss with more than one university partner, Campus Skellefteå has grown from about 400 students in 1995 to about 2000 students in 2011, serving labour market needs and the business needs of communication with universities. Multi-university campuses are growing in many parts of Sweden. Campus Varberg, Campus Vänersborg, Campus Uddevalla, Campus Kiruna are only a few examples. In Finland this development has government support and financing in so called University Consortia (e.g. the Seinäjoki, Pori, Lahti, Mikkeli, Kokkola, Kajaani campuses). In the UK there are Tremough, Crichton and others. It is a common solution to education diversification and scaling problems in developing economies in the Middle East (e.g. the Dubai Academic City, Education City Qatar and the new King Abdullah Educational Zone). In China there are similar examples, as well as in Canada and the US.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Annex completed on: 06-21-2011