Universities' mundaneness and regional engagement: Setting the stage
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Original versionThomas, E., Benneworth, P., Berg, L. N., Iakovleva, T., & Pinheiro, R. (2022). Universities' mundaneness and regional engagement: Setting the stage. In Universities and regional engagement: From the exceptional to the everyday (pp. 1-10). Routledge. 10.4324/9781003150299-1
This chapter introduces the main logic of this volume, which starts from the grassroots level of universities’ “everyday” engagements, looking at the manifold ways in which university knowledge agents build connections with multiple regional partners across the public and private sectors, and civic society more generally. Roles, functions and normative orientations of universities in the context of their surrounding regions have, in many cases, been taken for granted and, thus, have not been systematically addressed and/or still lack theorizing, due to the focus being on extraordinary, large-scale and eye-catching activities, and financially impressive transactions such as patents and spin-offs, embedded in “happy family stories” of ambitious regional development projects and coalitions.