Ο ρόλος του πανεπιστήμιου στην οικονομική και κοινωνική ζωή της περιοχής
The role of university in the economic and social life of a region
AdvisorΧλέτσος, Θεολόγος - Μιχαήλ
KeywordsΤριτοβάθμια εκπαίδευση ; Οικονομία ; Κοινωνία ; Περιφερειακή ανάπτυξη ; Higher education ; Economy ; Society ; Regional development
This Master thesis investigates the role of the University in the economic and social life of the region. The study, which constitutes a first approach to this subject, has as its main objective to examine certain certainties, such as the considered selfevident great contribution of the University to the progress and development of the region where it is founded. Indeed, the establishment of regional Universities is often related to the strengthening of the economic and social evolution and development of the region where they have been established. Thus, beyond the basic, by definition, educational and research purpose of the University, factors such as the stimulation of internal demand and the direct improvement of various economic activities of the region (e.g. the rental of houses, the increase of the income of the local market , the strengthening of commercial stores and catering facilities, the increase of revenue in public transport, etc.), are expected to act additively for the overall income of the area, due to the presence of the university unit in each area. In addition, the establishment of Universities has long-term developmental effects in the region, through the creation of a more capable and skilled workforce. Additionally, beyond the immediate improvement of the region's economic figures, the operation of the University in the region is expected to bring about positive changes in its social structure as well. In general, the University can dynamically contribute to that part of regional development related to the quality of life, the dynamics and the cohesion of local societies. Thus, in the context of its social role, the University can, beyond its narrow educational activities, assist in the promotion of arts and in the flourishing of free artistic creation. Therefore, from a broader development perspective, the pursuit of the above activities contributes to the establishment of a dynamic cultural identity in the region, an element that simultaneously strengthens the competitiveness (using the positive sign of this term) between the local societies. However, even though the contribution of the establishment of the University to the multifaceted development of the region is a fact, often this region does not have the ability to fully use the advantages that derive from it. It is pointed out, the need to review the policy of the establishment of regional Universities, through the simultaneous investigation of the long-term impact of each society, due to the way of establishment of the regional units of higher education. The study of similar examples from abroad (mainly from Europe and the United States of America) can offer, for example, useful conclusions for the Greek counterpart as well, while the re-evaluation and critical view towards certain political decisions should not be missed. Finally, for a more accurate description of the above concepts, this Master’s thesis studies in particular the case of the University of Ioannina in terms of its timeless role in the economic and social life of the Region of Epirus. The last part of the thesis also contains a questionnaire created through a free electronic platform which records the opinion of 105 respondents regarding the role of the University in the economic and social life of the region, with an emphasis on the University of Ioannina. The analysis of the answers to these questions raised new issues as to whether the regional Universities act as development components and catalysts for the production of innovation in the local regions.