Entrepreneurship education in non-business schools : best practice for Australian contexts of knowledge and innovation communities (Final Report)

Collet, Christopher (2011) Entrepreneurship education in non-business schools : best practice for Australian contexts of knowledge and innovation communities (Final Report). Australian Learning and Teaching Council, Sydney Australia.


In the current era of global economic instability, business and industry have already identified a widening gap between graduate skills and employability. An important element of this is the lack of entrepreneurial skills in graduates. This Teaching Fellowship investigated two sides of a story about entrepreneurial skills and their teaching. Senior players in the innovation commercialisation industry, a high profile entrepreneurial sector, were surveyed to gauge their needs and experiences of graduates they employ. International contexts of entrepreneurship education were investigated to explore how their teaching programs impart the skills of entrepreneurship. Such knowledge is an essential for the design of education programs that can deliver the entrepreneurial skills deemed important by industry for future sustainability. Two programs of entrepreneurship education are being implemented at QUT that draw on the best practice exemplars investigated during this Fellowship. The QUT Innovation Space (QIS) focuses on capturing the innovation and creativity of students, staff and others. The QIS is a physical and virtual meeting and networking space; a connected community enhancing the engagement of participants. The Q_Hatchery is still embryonic; but it is intended to be an innovation community that brings together nascent entrepreneurial businesses to collaborate, train and support each other. There is a niche between concept product and business incubator where an experiential learning environment for otherwise isolated ‘garage-at-home’ businesses could improve success rates. The QIS and the Q_Hatchery serve as living research laboratories to trial the concepts emerging from the skills survey. The survey of skills requirements of the innovation commercialisation industry has produced a large and high quality data set still being explored. Work experience as an employability factor has already emerged as an industry requirement that provides employee maturity. Exploratory factor analysis of the skills topics surveyed has led to a process-based conceptual model for teaching and learning higher-order entrepreneurial skills. Two foundational skills domains (Knowledge, Awareness) are proposed as prerequisites which allow individuals with a suite of early stage entrepreneurial and behavioural skills (Pre-leadership) to further leverage their careers into a leadership role in industry with development of skills around higher order elements of entrepreneurship, management in new business ventures and progressing winning technologies to market. The next stage of the analysis is to test the proposed model through structured equation modelling. Another factor that emerged quickly from the survey analysis broadens the generic concept of team skills currently voiced in Australian policy documents discussing the employability agenda. While there was recognition of the role of sharing, creating and using knowledge in a team-based interdisciplinary context, the adoption and adaptation of behaviours and attitudes of other team members of different disciplinary backgrounds (interprofessionalism) featured as an issue. Most undergraduates are taught and undertake teamwork in silos and, thus, seldom experience a true real-world interdisciplinary environment. Enhancing the entrepreneurial capacity of Australian industry is essential for the economic health of the country and can only be achieved by addressing the lack of entrepreneurial skills in graduates from the higher education system. This Fellowship has attempted to address this deficiency by identifying the skills requirements and providing frameworks for their teaching.

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ID Code: 51466
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Keywords: entrepreneurship education, models for teaching, HERN
ISBN: 9780642782045
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > OTHER EDUCATION (139900) > Education not elsewhere classified (139999)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Statement: This work is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia Licence. Under this Licence you are free to copy, distribute, display and perform the work and to make derivative works.
Deposited On: 06 Jul 2012 01:05
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 23:59

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