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Towards an Understanding of the Global Context of Enterprise Education


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Penaluna, K, Penaluna, A and Jones, CD 2011 , 'Towards an Understanding of the Global Context of Enterprise Education', paper presented at the ISBE Conference, 9-10 November 2011, Sheffield, UK.

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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
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.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Authors/Creators:Penaluna, K and Penaluna, A and Jones, CD
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