Rethinking the ‘third mission’: UK universities and regional engagement in challenging times

Yann Lebeau, Allan Cochrane

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19 Citations (Scopus)
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Drawing on the experiences and statements of two universities, this article sets out to relate current trends and discourses of engagement of UK higher education institutions with their regional environment in the context of major policy shifts in higher education and in regional governance. The “third mission” is considered as an aspect of what universities do in place and in relation to other place-based agencies. In this process of exploration, we attempt to identify adjustment behaviours and discourses in contrasting regional contexts and to relate them to the unequal power of universities and to their structural embeddedness in a local socio-economic and policy fabric.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-263
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Higher Education
Issue number3
Early online date29 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • universities
  • regional engagement
  • embeddedness
  • third mission
  • marketisation

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