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The interconnections of academic research and universities’ “third mission”: Evidence from the UK

Degl’Innocenti, Marta, Roman Matousek and Nickolaos Tzeremes ()

Research Policy, 2019, vol. 48, issue 9, -

Abstract: A considerable body of work acknowledges the importance and benefits of the university–industry relationship for the economy and society, but also for increasing the revenue of universities themselves (known also as universities’ “third mission”). However, questions have also been raised about the consequences of the university-industry relationship and its impact on their traditional role. This paper contributes to this debate by exploring whether and how being efficient in generating income from engagement activities impacts on universities’ research performance. By using a sample of 119 UK higher educational institutions for period 2007–2014, and controlling for endogeneity issue, the results show that efficiency in terms of university-industry income and research performance exhibits a nonlinear relationship for both universities established before (“old universities”), and after (“new universities”), the Higher Education Act 1992 (HEA). However, for high level of efficiency, “old universities” do not appear able to improve their research performance further. Finally, positive synergies between the third mission and research mission decline in a more teaching-oriented environment. We conclude that policy makers should account for organisational heterogeneity and teaching orientation to promote research excellence effectively by stimulating engagement.

Keywords: Efficiency; Higher education institutions; Industry engagement; REF (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2019.05.002

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