Dr. Paul Benneworth

Principal Researcher
Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS)
University of Twente
+31 53 489 3271

Paul Benneworth graduated in Human Geography from OxfordUniversity in 1995 with a double first, specialising in economic and urban geography.  That same year, he started working as a Research Assistant for Northumbria Police, in the UK and registered for a part-time Ph.D. at the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies at the University of Newcastle.  In early 1996, he moved from the police to work at CURDS as a junior research associate, and remained there for thirteen years, completing his Ph.D., achieving a permanent position (‘tenure’) and university lectureship in the school of architecture, planning and landscape.  His research in this period focused on the role of entrepreneurship, innovation and technological change in regional economic development, in particular the influence of universities in less successful regions, the subject of his Ph.D. thesis (completed 2002).   In August 2009, he moved to the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies at the University of Twente, in the Netherlands, as a Senior Research Associate, to extent his interests in the relationships between universities and society.


He has undertaken a wide number of research projects for a range of clients.  He has successfully won research council funding from the UK Economic and Social Research Councils (post-doctoral fellowship, small research grant, standard research grant within the Regional Impact of HEIs programme) and Research Councils UK (Academic Fellowship), as well as from the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) programme, administered by the European Science Foundation.  He has had two research grants from the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, and has undertaken research and consultancy services for a range of UK bodies, including the Small Business Service, the Department for Farming and Rural Affairs, the Department of the Environment, Transport & Regions, as well as for a range of subnational bodies including regional assemblies, regional university associations and regional assemblies.  He has worked on several occasions with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, including on their Technology and Innovation Programme Cluster Working Group (2000-01), for Education Division on the Regional Impacts of HEIs programme and for Territorial Development and Governance on Regional Innovation Reviews (Piedmonte, North of England) and their Regional Innovation Strategy project.  He has also undertaken a number of small consultancy projects for a diverse range of organisations including the European Centre for the Strategic Management of Universities, the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, and the Science for All working group.

Research Interests: 


Paul’s major research interest is in the relationship between universities and societal change, from the broad level of how universities as institutions respond to major social shifts such as the emergence of the post-industrial society, to relationships between universities and businesses in the creation of new high-technology businesses and spin-off companies.  He has participated in a wide range of research projects in this area, using a range of quantitative and qualitative indicators.  He has published widely in a range of academic journals in geography, business studies, planning and higher education management, as well as editing a number of books.  His 2007 paper in Progress in Planning “Universities as planning animateurs” was nominated for best published paper in planning at the AESOP conference.  From 2004 to 2008 he was editor of Regions, the magazine of the Regional Studies Association, and from 2010, he is Founder Editor and Editor in Chief of Regional Insights, a new publication launched by the Regional Studies Association.  He has also presented at a wide range of conferences, symposia, workshops and user forums including a number of key note presentations at leasing scientific events. 


 Benneworth, P. S., Charles, D. R. & Madnipour, A. (2010) “Universities as agents of urban change in the global knowledge economy” European Planning Studies  (forthcoming).

Benneworth, P. & Jongbloed, B.W.A (2009) “Who matters to universities? A stakeholder perspective on humanities, arts and social sciences valorisationHigher Education DOI 10.1007/s10734-009-9265-2

Benneworth, P. & Sanderson, A. (2009) “Building institutional capacity for HEI regional engagement in a sparse innovation environment: a case study of Knowledge House” Higher Education Management and Policy, March 2009.

Benneworth, P. S., Coenen, L., Moodyson, J. & Asheim, B. (2009) “Exploring the multiple roles of LundUniversity in strengthening the scania regional innovation system: towards institutional learning? European Planning Studies , 1645 - 1664

Benneworth P, Hospers G-J, (2007) "The new economic geography of old industrial regions: universities as global–local pipelines" Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 25(6) 779–802

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