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Fostering Entrepreneurship Education – a EU perspective

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1 Fostering Entrepreneurship Education – a EU perspective
Simone BALDASSARRI Unit E.1 Entrepreneurship Thessaloniki, 25 November

2 Definition of Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship refers to an individual’s ability to turn ideas into action. It includes creativity, innovation and risk taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives. This supports everyone in day-to-day life at home and in society, makes employees more aware of the context of their work and better able to seize opportunities, and provides a foundation for entrepreneurs establishing a social or commercial activity (2006 Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning)

3 Policy Background Recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council (2006): entrepreneurship a key competence for all. Commission Communication on “Fostering entrepreneurial mindsets” (2006) Oslo Agenda on Entrepreneurship Education in Europe (2007): a detailed menu of actions Small Business Act for Europe (2008) EU 2020 strategy: focus school curricula on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship (2010)

4 Current State Mainly individual initiatives, with no coherent framework and little impact Most students do not have access to entrepreneurship courses and programmes. Entrepreneurship is included in the national curriculum of general secondary school only in a small minority of countries In Higher Education the majority of entrepreneurship courses are offered in business and economic studies Only 1/4 of specialized and 1/3 of multidisciplinary institutions without a business school offer entrepreneurship

5 Vocational Education Entrepreneurship is included in the national curricula for vocational education in a majority of EU countries 10 countries report that 90% to 100% of vocational education students participate to entrepreneurship programmes at some point in their studies. However… Even where entrepreneurship is included in national curricula, there a perception of a gap still to be filled. Despite some encouraging data, the uptake and effectiveness of entrepreneurship education in vocational schools are still far from being fully satisfactory.

6 Vocational Education Reasons for the identified gap are:
ineffective teaching methods; entrepreneurship is not included in all parts of the VET system; limited participation of students; inadequate teachers’ competence; lack of involvement of business people; the practical element is missing; entrepreneurship is not linked to specific training subjects on professions.

7 Vocational Education Perception of a gap between teaching methods used and those considered as the most effective Most teachers have not been trained in entrepreneurship Cooperation between vocational schools and enterprises is in general well developed (particularly in « dual systems ») But it is difficult to involve small and micro enterprises

8 Schools: Factors of Success in Delivery
Well-defined objectives and appropriate evaluations Good balance between theory and practice: programme is action-oriented, based on experience and project work Teaching adapted to the specific field of vocational studies The institution has external links with enterprises Students take part in extra-curricular activities and events Teachers have a qualification in entrepreneurship Students and teachers are stimulated to look beyond the borders of school environment Support mechanisms in place for students to start up

9 Recommendations Public authorities:
Set up a national steering committee Introduce entrepreneurship in the curriculum Make career guidance mandatory, including entrepreneurship Provide counselling for schools and teachers in designing VET curricula Improve teachers’ qualifications

10 Recommendations Vocational Schools:
Appoint an enterprise champion or a leader Extend entrepreneurship to all fields of study Business organisations: Promote partnerships between VET schools and enterprises Provide expert help with preparing programmes and cooperate through project work

11 Activities at EU level Efforts focus currently on increasing European coordination so as to develop more systematic strategies. Present goals: 1) Increase the exchange of experiences and practices across Europe, particularly among policy makers: - High Level Reflection Panels on Entrepreneurship Education (5 Panels from March 2009 to March 2010) 2) Promote European projects that will become a model or a reference for the multiplication and dissemination of activities in this field: Call for Proposals (9 European projects currently funded under the CIP)

12 High Level Reflection Panels on Entrepreneurship Education
Two key needs: 1) Increase co-operation between government administrations – especially those responsible for education and enterprise - and with stakeholders on entrepreneurship education; 2) Develop more systematic strategies for entrepreneurship education.

13 Teachers High importance of involving teachers (maintain a broad definition of Entrepreneurship) Shift from 'how to run a business' to how to develop a general set of competences applicable in all walks of life Key elements for supporting the role of teachers: Develop research on how teachers approach E.E. Offer initial and continuous teacher training Create and disseminate teaching contents, tools, methods and materials Make space in the curriculum for testing new methods Establish support networks

14 Curriculum Make entrepreneurship an integral part of the Curriculum:
Key role for ministries of education Changes in teaching methods: experiential learning, teacher as a facilitator, coach, moderator Changes in education context: take students out of the classroom (into local community and real businesses) Combine a mandatory cross-curricular approach with a selectable training as a specific subject

15 Elements of a strategy (1)
Agreed definition of entrepreneurship Cross-ministry cooperation Stakeholder consultation Embed core competences into the national curriculum Develop strategic aims and objectives

16 Elements of a strategy (2)
Integrate identified good practices (what works) into the strategy Train the teachers Develop a logic chain of indicators, outputs, outcomes and expected impact Design and embed coherent progression from primary to higher education Make resources available for the strategy

17 Building links Engage businesses:
Visits, experiences, case studies and role models Student mini-companies with business mentors Engage intermediary organizations: Many NGOs play already a key role External organizations devoted to promoting E.E. can be effectively associated with national strategies Link E.E. into local and regional strategies Develop partnerships Build local and regional support centres

18 EU actions in 2011 1) Train, enable and motivate teachers
A European Workshop with policy makers and experts from all countries (March or April 2011), followed by specific Laboratories and a practical guide 2) Evaluation and assessment of impact of entrepreneurship education programmes Specific studies to be developed

19 Contacts Web site: E-mail:

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