Towards an Understanding of the Global Context of Enterprise Education
Penaluna, K and Penaluna, A and Jones, Colin, Towards an Understanding of the Global Context of Enterprise Education, Proceedings of the 34th ISBE Conference 2011, 9-10 November 2011, Sheffield, UK, pp. 1-18. ISBN 978-1-900862-23-3 (2011) [Refereed Conference Paper]
Objectives: The overarching aim of the paper is to investigate the contextual differences that exist in the development and delivery of enterprise education in higher education globally.
Prior Work: The paper builds on the recent work of Jones (2011) that sought to identify distinct differences in the provision of enterprise education, and also the differences of opinion that are present in enterprise educators.
Approach: The paper approaches the issue of contextual differences at the level of the educator, the student and the institution. An online survey was distributed to enterprise educators via the authors' educator networks/organizations. 142 responses from educators in 34 countries were received. The survey contained eight questions designed to tease out
differences amongst educators, including; gender, age, qualifications, employment status and teaching philosophy. Six questions related to curriculum development, two questions were related to the faculty background of stUdents and the nature of individual subjects available to them to study entrepreneurship. A further six questions focused on organizational issues
(class / teaching team sizes / focus of the programmes and their structures). Two open-ended questions also sought to gain insights into the perceived value of enterprise education to our students.
Results: The findings of our study clearly demonstrate that enterprise education is a highly diverse course offering in higher education. However, while there are numerous differences in the provision of enterprise education, there are clear commonalities in terms of expected student outcomes. The respondents reported low levels of business start-up activity during
enterprise education and/or within one year of completing such study. Over 75 per cent of educators surveyed had personal start-up experience and there is a limited reliance on academic literature, with a preference to reference broader stakeholder perspectives.
Implications: Enterprise educators clearly need to better understand the differences that exist within the provision of enterprise education globally to appreciate what is myth and what is reality. The international metric of enterprise education appears to be a broad set of enterprising skills that equip and enable students to recognise and exploit opportunities in order to navigate future unknowns. The commonly employed metric of business start up
appears a less valid an outcome in the context of this investigation.
Value: Informed by educators and course developers, this paper introduces the reader to a unique global snap-shot of the landscape of enterprise education in higher education. It has not sought to discover best practice, but rather 'all' practice.
Refereed Conference Paper
Enterprise, Education, Context, Educator, International