This paper presents the efforts undertaken at European level to promote university – business partnerships, placing the analysis under the framework of third mission and regional engagement of universities. The study brings into focus the role of partnerships in achieving the targets of European Modernisation Agenda for Universities and highlights its general and specific objectives. At the same time, the study presents an analysis of business interactions engaged in by the first twenty of the European higher education institutions included in the Financial Times European Business School Rankings 2010. The study uses the thematic content analysis of data published on websites and official documents of business schools, in the Company Relations’ sections. The analysis revealed many types of interactions that were clustered under three thematic areas of interaction: education, research and recruiting/ talent management. Even though business schools target mainly the international, not the regional arena and lack their own technology transfer or licensing/ patenting offices, they make use of most of the business links, as depicted in the university – business partnership literature.
university – business partnerships third mission regional engagement European business schools thematic content analysis