The subject of the study is the role of the flagship university in the formation of knowledge economy in a resource-extracting region. The aim of the research is to reveal the role of the flagship university in the development of a resource-extracting region towards the knowledge economy via its basic social and economic functions, defined by the urgent needs of the local community, according to the local natural and economic specifics. The research employed some elements of system analysis. The study results: the study has
revealed some development components, critical for innovative development of Kuzbass, which is a typical resource-extracting region, influenced by its flagship university; the role of the flagship university in the formation of knowledge economy via the definition
of its social and economic functions has been revealed; a belief-creative mission of university education in a knowledge-based society has been established. The results can be used in the development planning of higher education in the Kemerovo region.
Conclusions: 1. The critical components of regional development, which are influenced by the flagship university, embrace human resources, as well as measures to transform social infrastructure; natural resources together with ecology; cultural and demographic
resources of development. 2. New models of university education combine the processes of market economy and the traditional socio-cultural functions of the university, important for the socialization of the knowledge economy. 3. The social function of the flagship
university is due to its main traditional function of forming a modern picture of the world among students and primarily consists in creating a solid foundation for demographic growth in the region. 4. The economic function of the flagship university is, first of all, in teaching practical skills that would enable students to join the regional production and economic activities immediately after graduation
key university, resourcesextractive region, knowledge economy, market economy, critical components of regional development, social and cultural functions of the university, economic functions of the university