Recently we told you about the Eurydice report on entrepreneurship education, which looks at the progress made over the last four years in this type of education in Europe. Today we are analysing entrepreneurship education again but this time from the perspective of higher education.
The report entitled Supporting the Entrepreneurial Potential of Higher Education, prepared by the European Commission, highlights the challenges faced by entrepreneurship education, their possible solutions and the political consequences of whatever action is taken. The purpose of the study is to obtain an overview of the factors that may increase the entrepreneurship potential in higher education in Europe. Thus, the study gathers together and analyses 20 case studies of entrepreneurship education in higher education in European universities where different approaches to entrepreneurship education exist.
Despite all of this effort, there are still barriers to its development. Supporting the Entrepreneurial Potential of Higher Education analyses 6 challenges and their main solutions:
Challenge 1: Overcome the reservations about entrepreneurship education on the part of university managers, educators and students. A possible solution to this challenge could be to consider this type of training not only as teaching to start a new business, but also making an idea happen.
Challenge 2: Ensure the funds required for entrepreneurship education as a relatively young subject. A possible solution could be to also offer this type of education to professionals as paid-for education.
Challenge 3: Ensure the quality of the entrepreneurship education curriculum when experience is limited and new methods arise. Local offers to “educate the educators” together with the existence of networks of national and international entrepreneurship education educators could help matters. For example, if the conditions of the legal framework for entrepreneurship education are unfavourable, universities could lobby for their modification.
Challenge 4: Ensuring the quality of the extracurricular activities related to entrepreneurship education involves being flexible while also improving their institutionalisation. In the latter case, a possible solution could be to develop bodies that certify and approve this education.
Challenge 5: Universities’ networks with external stakeholders often lack scope and strength. To overcome this challenge, universities need to strengthen networks with alumni who can be easily accessible and act as trusted guest speakers and mentors.
Challenge 6: Measurement of the results and the impact of entrepreneurship training. These measures must be long term, not just focused on start-ups, and assess the business mentality of students, before and after the courses.