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Firsova A. A., Narhova A. A. University as a Driver of Economic Development of the Region: Challenges and Prospects. Izv. Saratov Univ., Economics. Management. Law, 2013, vol. 13, iss. 2, pp. 223-227. DOI:

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University as a Driver of Economic Development of the Region: Challenges and Prospects

Introduction. Regional university can be considered one of the key elements for building a regional economic development strategy. This article is devoted to regional university’s long-term development in modern environment. Theoretical analysis. In the context of «triple helix model» the network nature of the interaction between the participants of the innovative process is especially important. Today Russian universities are facing such challenges as urgent need of high-qualified graduates, investments, improvement of educational methods, creation and rapid development of university’s infrastructure, changes in ethic standards etc. Empirical analysis. Cooperation between business, government and universities is a burning issue. This is determined by drastic changes in the employers’ demands of graduates’ abilities, lack of universities’ public funding and the call for new off-budget financial sources. Results. Regional universities are supposed to take a proactive position in regional economy and to become the leaders of future innovations. The forthcoming changes should improve and reorganize the present system of regional higher education. The presumptive features of the new system should be the following: profound cooperation between university management, business and government, meritocratic approach, application of innovative educational techniques and teaching methods. This is to become the foundation of the highly efficient functioning of the universities and regional innovative development on the whole.

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