There are two major forms that link to the change for curricula towards more entrepreneurship: Either the training becomes integrated into the already existing curricula (frequently as new learning outcomes), or institutions develop entrepreneurship modules that become electives or even mandatory in some study programmes.

Frequently, ideas about entrepreneurship education differ strongly between the technical or natural sciences and the arts, humanities, and social sciences. For the latter disciplines, the papers also report less acceptance or a negative image of entrepreneurship education. Therefore, irrespective of the chosen form of entrepreneurship education institutions face the challenge of creating a general and shared understanding of entrepreneurship education (Dinning, 2019).

The integration of skill training requires the higher education institutions to develop these competences in their teaching staff, make investments in building the infrastructure (for example, such as a physical centre for entrepreneurship education), and create or enhance their ecosystem (regional) economic sector.

Also, when integrating the training of entrepreneurship competencies in existing curricula, teachers report that they often don’t know how to do this or link it with academic skills training. Due to the differences in perception of value and content of entrepreneurial education, these institutions often face the challenge to stimulate and nurture motivation among their staff and students. Also, measuring the impact, i.e., how students benefit from the training in their later professional careers, is mentioned as a challenge

The goal

  • Integrating entrepreneurship education in already existing curricula mainstreams entrepreneurship across the institution. The major goal is to create entrepreneurial skills in students.
  • Entrepreneurship modules frequently are self-standing education units that student can choose as electives or need to attend as a mandatory part of their degree programmes. Entrepreneurship modules often simulate or support the start-up of a company (->student entrepreneurs). In these modules students learn basic principles of running a business, writing a business plan, and starting the company virtually or in real life. Also, internships or collaboration projects with companies in the institution’s ecosystem can be integrated.

Examples of interventions at institutional level

  • Integrating entrepreneurship education in existing curricula can use large and small-scale interventions. Large-scale interventions foremost include the change of the curricula through e.g., the definition of additional learning outcomes. Small-scale interventions include the implementation of (new) didactical methods or tools such as serious games or case studies.
  • Setting up entrepreneurship modules is more complex process, it involves all steps related to developing new modules or programmes, including quality assurance and accreditation processes. Frequently, entrepreneurship modules have been established by business schools.
  • In any case, when setting up entrepreneurship education several stakeholders (students, teachers, business partners etc.), objectives, (innovative) pedagogies should be considered. The paper of Maritz and Brown (2013) provides a frameworks that list elements that are crucial in the development of entrepreneurship education programmes.
Back to Fiche

Other relevant resources
Links to selected HEInnovate case studies
Further reading
  • Clements, Mike (2012): Contribution of the SPEED Programme to the Enhancement of an Enterprise Culture in a UK University. In Industry and Higher Education 26, pp. 101–106. DOI: 10.5367/ihe.2012.0088.
  • Coleman, Maebh; Hamouda, Angela; Cormican, Kathryn (2010): The Accelerating Campus Entrepreneurship (ACE) Initiative: Creating Entrepreneurial Graduates for Ireland. In Industry and Higher Education 24, pp. 443–454. DOI: 10.5367/ihe.2010.0011.
  • Dinning, Track (2019): Articulating Entrepreneurial Competencies in the Undergraduate Curricular. In Education & Training 61, pp. 432–444. DOI: 10.1108/ET-09-2018-0197.
  • Maritz, Alex; Brown, Christopher R. (2013): Illuminating the Black Box of Entrepreneurship Education Programs: Education & Training (55). In Education & Training, pp. 234–252.
  • Murray, Alan (2019): The Role of Practical Assessment in the Delivery of Successful Enterprise Education. In Education & Training 61, pp. 413–431. DOI: 10.1108/ET-10-2018-0216.