Do we really mean ‘Entrepreneurship’ in Education?

December 10, 2014 - teachers

by Rosemary Borup

This event arranged by the EU allowed some serious discussion and interaction between projects currently  funded under the EU  ‘Knowledge Alliance’ funding stream.  One clear focus of the event was how important “Entrepreneurship in Education” has been in the thinking of the project participants, with several projects focusing on entrepreneurship for specialist disciplines – for film students, for business students, for PhD students etc.

But as usual for EU thematic meetings, any pre-conceptions were subject to some lively debate – and the very term “entrepreneur” was challenged, since so few students leaving HE will truly fit this description, and that a common mistake is to confuse ‘self employment’ with the role of the entrepreneur as business ‘developer’.

Instead the group discussion presented an alternative term of “intrapreneur’ , to reflect the situation that the vast majority of students leaving HE will still go into corporate employment,  but will still need the entrepreneurial skills of opportunity spotting, challenging existing ways of working,  project planning, change management, persuasion etc.  to be effective employees, contributing to the modernisation of our economies. The most important of the skills was considered to be the ability to INNOVATE.

Our IDEATE project seemed to fit this description most appropriately, since we are attempting to develop an innovative pedagogy around a truly challenging trans-national and multi-disciplinary educational module.

Our first iteration of this module will be in Manchester in February,  and this will be the next part of our story….!

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