University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Character and Impact of Social Innovation in Higher Education.

Elliott, Geoffrey ORCID: (2013) Character and Impact of Social Innovation in Higher Education. International Journal of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning, 5 (2). ISSN Print (English): 1997-7034 Online: 2071-1158

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This article offers a strategic multi-layered model for assessing the character and impact of social innovation in higher education connecting social and economic benefit. Whilst research to date has recognised the varying importance of the social and economic benefit of social and technological innovation, the literature is mostly silent on the contribution of purpose and strategy in achieving effective social innovation or how a regionally embedded university can maximise its impact in its community and the wider society. Whilst technological innovation is a critical component of future economic growth, social innovation is equally important in building social capital and in improving life chances. Governments have widely recognised that a university provides economic, environmental and cultural benefits to its community and, critically, should play a central role in re-balancing the economy of a community under stress and promoting growth in one that is prosperous. In the absence of well-documented, convincing examples of such re-balancing, this article offers a case study of The Hive, the first combined University and Public Library in Europe, an example of a strategic approach to social innovation in higher education that is bringing current and potential social and economic benefit to the community in which it is located. A measure of impact is proposed that is multi-layered and reflects the range of qualitative and quantitative impacts of social innovation. This paper has value to all those concerned to identify, plan and maximise the beneficial impact of social innovation in higher education institutions both on their economies and their communities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Higher education, strategy, social innovation, impact, economic development
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Geoffrey Elliott
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2013 12:38
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2023 18:31

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