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IPBeja > Eventos > Seminar - Socio-economic Impact of Higher Education Institutions in the “medium-sized cities”


The organization of a seminar on the socioeconomic impact of Higher Education Institutions (HEI) on medium-sized cities in Portugal aims to contribute to the discussion of the rationalization and sustainability of the existing network, supported by European benchmarks.

The regional socioeconomic development in the post-industrial society is strongly connected with factors of competitiveness, based on knowledge, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. For that reason, it seems relevant to analyse the role played by the current network of HEI in resisting the country’s tendency to “littoralisation” and in defence of the integral development of the Portuguese territory as a whole, with a special focus on medium-sized cities in regions with a low population density or in relatively peripheral areas.

Over the past years, a network of Polytechnic Institutes has emerged in a significant number of medium-sized cities in Portugal. Those institutions have prompted local development, supported by innovation and by knowledge transfer adapted to the specific nature of the territory and its traditional activities (e.g. agriculture and textile industry), which fosters the settlement of younger qualified staff and business creation. In addition, these institutions have contributed to preserve local cultures, simultaneously stimulating new ambitions to position these regions within the global context, where new paradigms based on creativity, technological innovation and knowledge appear in connection with the fruition of the city and the promotion of “new industries” (creative cities/creative industries).

According to their strategic plans and the diverse regional contexts, polytechnic institutions have a portfolio of actions and projects involving the local communities, which is important to know as a way of evaluating their potential as regional development agents and as promoters of economic synergies adequate to the challenges faced by the country. Therefore, the representatives of the Polytechnic Institutes attending this seminar have been invited to present examples of their relations with the local communities or any project with potential to create socioeconomic regional development.


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