What makes a University Entrepreneurial?

In an article recently published in the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, Arlen D Meyers1 and Sarika Pruthi2 outlined the factors that are likely to make a university more entrepreneurial in nature:

In our view, an entrepreneurial university has the following five attributes:STEM

  1. Top-down vision, strategy and leadership.University Presidents/Vice-Chancellors at entrepreneurial universities have a responsibility to champion enterprise and entrepreneurship education with a vision, purpose and strategy that supports a cross-campus opportunity available to all students and academic faculty and that delivers clear entrepreneurial outcomes both inside and outside the university. . . .

  2. Clearly defined entrepreneurship learning objectives that drive the curriculum.Core learning objectives at entrepreneurial universities are clearly defined and drive curriculum development and design. These include the development of entrepreneurial behavior, attitude and skills; creation of empathy with the entrepreneurial life-world; encouragement of self-employment as a career; inculcation of the processes of business entry, ‘how-tos’ and business survival; development of generic entrepreneurship competencies; and the management of one’s self and relationships. . . .

  3. Robust internal and external networks.Robust internal and external networks are a critical success factor for entrepreneurial universities. The goal is to create an infrastructure and systems that facilitate interaction and information flow to the disparate members of the cluster and stakeholders. In addition, strong networks are the backbone of serendipitous discovery. . . .

  4. A culture of innovation.Davies noted that entrepreneurial academic cultures exhibit the following characteristics: (i) university-level strategic thinking; (ii) open and quick decision-making; (iii) open communication and frankness; (iv) ability to take risks and learn from mistakes. . . .

  5. Experiential learning and knowledge-transfer opportunities.Entrepreneurial universities are led by someone with some industry experience. Entrepreneurs learn best by doing and working on projects that are relevant to their interests and lives. Educational and training programs should thus include such endeavors as internships, knowledge exchange schemes, faculty–industry exchange mechanisms and industry sabbatical opportunities as a way to cross-fertilize industry with academe. Students should be offered the opportunity to work on project-based assignments addressing real-world entrepreneurial challenges. . . .

The full article is here.

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