A shared understanding of the content and purpose of entrepreneurship education is crucial as it secures motivation and support of staff. Especially for teaching staff, the objectives of entrepreneurship education must fit well with their professional values. Sometimes institutional requirements to integrate entrepreneurship training in the teaching are not well accepted by staff. When there is a mismatch between the teachers’ perceptions of what skills should be built and the entrepreneurial skill sets defined in the institutional requirements. This mismatch can result in teachers who only superficially address entrepreneurship.

Relevance of input

Research results have already pointed out that defining and communicating the value of entrepreneurship training is fundamental. As for any organisational change, the involvement and support of leadership is crucial to creating commitment among staff and students (Bin Yusoff, Mohd Nor Hakimin et al., 2015). However, as higher education institutions frequently host several disciplinary cultures, institutional leadership needs to address these cultural differences in a sensitive manner. Describing entrepreneurial skills should avoid being dominated by one discipline. Rather institutional definitions should be either general or diversified to accommodate the cultural diversity. The involvement of the staff when defining entrepreneurial values also helps to secure their support (Clements, 2012). Concerning the students and further users of entrepreneurship training, such as business partners in the regions. A few papers report that the design of entrepreneurship curricula must also consider their demands to stimulate their interest (Mets et al., 2017).

Examples of interventions at institutional level

Concerning the motivations of teaching staff (and students), studies investigated a few incentives. While the provisions of time and financial incentives can be helpful, it turned out that making new experiences is a strong motivator in the research. Interventions that gave teachers and students new to entrepreneurship training the opportunity to learn about it and continue in this area were very effective. Here, it is argued that the newness of the knowledge, experiences and contacts made is the incentive (Ghina et al., 2014; Mkimurto-Koivumaa & Belt, 2016; Thom, 2017). However, we would like to note that this incentive might preferably unfold in well-organised learning opportunities.

Some studies also point out that teachers sometimes are not well prepared for teaching entrepreneurial skills. The provision of training can be beneficial for those teachers, especially when it includes new or innovative teaching practices or the opportunity to collaborate with other teachers (Terzaroli, 2019)

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Other relevant resources
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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.