Breathing space - graduate entrepreneurs' perspectives of entrepreneurship education in higher education

Fenton, Mary and Barry, Almar (2014) Breathing space - graduate entrepreneurs' perspectives of entrepreneurship education in higher education. Education & Training, 56 (8/9). p. 733. ISSN 00400912

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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine graduate entrepreneurs' perspectives of entrepreneurship education (EE) in higher education institutions (HEIs) in their formation as entrepreneurs. Design/methodology/approach - This qualitative research study was conducted amongst 30 graduate entrepreneurs in the South East of Ireland, who established their businesses between 2001 and 2010 (inclusive). Findings - The findings challenge the notion that more EE provision at undergraduate level will lead to greater numbers of graduate entrepreneurs. This is because: HEIs are more focused on preparing students for employment; the academic nature of undergraduate EE; and a one size fits all approach to EE fails to recognise the heterogeneity of learners' needs. However, the findings show that graduate entrepreneurs believed that EE at graduate level provided a welcome breathing space to develop their business. Research limitations/implications - This research was undertaken within a unique, regional environment, therefore, it is influenced by regional policies, priorities and factors and its main HEI. It does not include either other regional, national or international case studies. Practical implications - This research paper provides a conceptual framework or guiding principles for good practice in EE in higher education to include: an enterprise-centric, HEI; a graduated approach to EE; pracademics; a challenging learning environment; authentic experience; and links with the wider enterprise community. Originality/value - This research paper offers a nuanced understanding of EE in higher education. Moreover, it contributes to the advancement of knowledge, practice and policy by proposing a conceptual framework for EE in higher education to meet the diverse needs of future graduate entrepreneurs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright - © Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2014; CODEN - EDUTAK; SubjectsTermNotLitGenreText - Ireland
Uncontrolled Keywords: Education; Studies; Entrepreneurship education; College students; Higher education; Business education; Ireland; 9520:Small business; 8306:Schools and educational services
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2015 18:45
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2015 18:46

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