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Latvia University of Agriculture as Knowledge Agent in Zemgale Region: Expectations and Reality

Ginta Kronberga, Liga Paula and Dina Bite
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Ginta Kronberga: University of Latvia, Latvia
Liga Paula: University of Latvia, Latvia
Dina Bite: University of Latvia, Latvia

from International School for Social and Business Studies, Celje, Slovenia

Abstract: In the era of knowledge economy, universities are stressed as important agents fostering and promoting development processes at local as well as regional and national levels. At both policy documents determining development of Zemgale and the strategy of university a close cooperation and orientation towards regional needs is emphasized thus eventually expecting that through mutually coordinated activities and cooperation between the university and regional stakeholders these needs will be met. The article focuses on issue whether indeed the current cooperation forms involving the Latvia University of Agriculture and regional stakeholders (policy makers, municipalities, business representatives, research institutes, etc.) reflects orientation towards the needs and priorities defined by the policy makers and university. On the basis of the analysis of policy documents and semi-structured interviews, the authors indicate that to some extent this orientation is practically obvious, but there are many opportunities that currently are not effectively used due to a number of reasons. In general importance and necessity of cooperation is acknowledged by both the university and regional stakeholders; however, cooperation potential is not plenty largely used yet. It is influenced by dense social networks, financial support available (what often is not regular and sufficient), mutual understanding and expectations, some stereotypes that can be met among the stakeholders regarding each other, time constraints, overloaded university staff members, bureaucratic procedures, etc.

Keywords: university; cooperation; regional needs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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