The United Kingdom’s Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education has recently published Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education: Guidance for UK Higher Education Providers, a document which aims to capture the impact of QAA’s 2012 guidance on enterprise and entrepreneurship and to provide a future roadmap for enterprise and entrepreneurship education.
The report explains that the goal of enterprise education is to:
produce graduates with an awareness, mindset, and capability to generate original ideas in response to identified needs, opportunities and shortfalls, and the ability to act on them, even if circumstances are changing and ambiguous.
Entrepreneurship education, on the other hand, aims to:
build upon the enterprising competencies of students who are capable of identifying opportunities and developing ventures, through becoming self-employed, setting up new businesses or developing and growing part of an existing venture. It focuses on the application of enterprising competencies and extends the learning environment into realistic risk environments that may include legal issues, funding issues, start-up, and growth strategies.
Taken together, these two comprise “entrepreneurial education”. Students with enterprise and entrepreneurship competencies are more likely to engage in entrepreneurial action, whether it be in the context of self-employment, creating a new business venture, social entrepreneurship, or “intrapreneurship” (the application of enterprise behaviours, attributes and skills within an existing micro or small business, corporate or public-sector organisation). Such competencies can be gained when the entrepreneurial curriculum considers students’ prior learning and the context of their subject specialism. The publication acknowledges that entrepreneurial learning is not always linear, and that learning and assessment strategies should consider the following distinctions: 1. Learning “about”: knowledge acquisition through the study of the topic;
2. Learning “for”: a more practical goal, such as, learning how to be more entrepreneurial; and
3. Learning “through”: the practical application of entrepreneurial activity requires the development of enhanced reflection skills and relates to practical activities, such as start-ups, Venture Creation Programmes and incubators, or accelerators.
The publication contains further useful information and resources, particularly for education institutions, and is available on QAA’s website.
©all rights on images used in this article belong to QAA