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New institutional geographies of higher education: the rise of transregional university alliances

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journal contribution
posted on 18.11.2015 by John Harrison, Darren Smith, Chloe Kinton
This paper opens up debates about the deepening uneven geographies of higher education through a critical analysis of transregional university alliances. Focusing on the formation of research consortia and Doctoral Training Centres we reveal the emergence of over fifty transregional alliances between UK universities. Despite each consortium operating at a variously defined regional scale there has been no explicit attempt to account for their geographical basis. Providing the first-ever analysis of this unfolding phenomenon, we demonstrate how the rise of transregional alliances is indicative of, and a response to, universities operating in an intensely neoliberalised political economy. Bringing together emergent theories of regionalism with emerging worlds of (neoliberal) higher education, our paper reveals how, why and where universities are engaging in more intensively targeted, exclusive approaches to regional development. We argue that higher education is conducive to the weakening of fixed regional territories and propose the metaphor of ‘regional constellations’ for interpreting transregional geographies. Finally, our analysis suggests that while high-performing research institutions may compete better by forming consortia, transregional alliances lead to a more unequal and divided university sector.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space

Volume

48

Issue

5

Pages

910-936

Citation

HARRISON, J., SMITH, D.P. and KINTON, C., 2016. New institutional geographies of higher education: the rise of transregional university alliances. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 48(5), pp.910-936.

Publisher

© Sage

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2015-12-16

Notes

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space and the definitive published version is available at https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0308518X15619175

ISSN

0308-518X

eISSN

1472-3409

Language

en

Exports