“All university students should have access to enterprise and entrepreneurship, including a growing ambition amongst young people to develop their interest in social enterprise. In higher education, enterprise should extend to all areas of faculty and study, and I am encouraging universities to have an elective enterprise module available to all students.” (Lord Young, 2014).
As Lord Young’s report on enterprise makes clear, enterprise education and an entrepreneurial mindset should be embedded in all university degrees, whatever the subject area. The skills associated with enterprise and entrepreneurship can help to prepare students for the rigours of a rapidly changing economy and ever evolving demands of the workplace.
In an impact study of enterprise and entrepreneurship education conducted by BIS in 2013, there was evidence to suggest that the majority of enterprise education provision tends to be located in business related subjects. While the provision of enterprise opportunities has continued to grow across a range of areas since 2013, there is an ongoing need to develop our understanding and application of enterprise and entrepreneurship within HE.
There are numerous examples of good practice in enterprise education and how we can utilise it to enhance employability – see for examples the HEA’s 2014 report on Enhancing Employability through Enterprise Education – but it is evident that more needs to be done to consider enterprise as a pedagogic approach to course design rather than an added extra. The HEA’s employability framework is currently being extended to encompass an enterprise offshoot that will develop into a framework for institutions to use as they create more enterprising curricula. The HEA, in partnership with the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE), is working to shape our understanding of enterprising pedagogies so that we can move beyond pockets of good practice into holistic approaches to enterprise education.
On 15 March 2017, the HEA and IOEE are organising a one-day Enterprise Summit at London Southbank University that will consider institutional approaches to developing enterprising pedagogies. As well as focusing on how to transform institutional culture and create an enterprise education strategy, the event will also explore ways to recognise and reward enterprise and entrepreneurship. In particular, the Summit will provide an opportunity for University leadership teams to reimagine their approach to employability through enterprising pedagogies that nurture the student as entrepreneur.
Led by Dr Charles Knight, the digital economy expert from Edge Hill University who was shortlisted this year for the Times Higher award for the ‘Most Innovative Teacher in Higher Education’, the event will also give delegates the chance to find out more about the work of the IOEE and their University centres of excellence for enterprise and entrepreneurship.
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (2013). Enterprise education impact in higher and further education. London: BIS
Lord Young (2014) Enterprise for all: the relevance of enterprise in education. London: Crown Copyright.
Owen, J. and Tibby, M. (2014). Enhancing employability through enterprise education: Examples of good practice in higher education. York: HEA