Entrepreneurship Education: meeting social and economic challenges in Europe
In its more recent Europe 2020 strategy, Europe’s 10-year strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, the need to embed creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship into education systems, is highlighted. Entrepreneurship education is being increasingly promoted in most European countries, according to the recent Entrepreneurship Education at School in Europe report published by the European Commission.
The direct impact of these strategies can be seen in several projects funded under the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP). The 2009 Grundtvig project entitled «Creativity and Entrepreneurship Seeds for Social Inclusion Trainers – CESSIT«, for example, aimed to equip adult trainers to foster an entrepreneurial spirit among early school leavers. The project produced a comprehensive and user-friendly «Guidebook for Adult Trainers and Managers» to this end.
Q-Planet is another LLP project in the area of cooperation between universities and enterprises funded under the Erasmus programme. The project sets up quality assurance standards to provide students, enterprises and universities with a solid and secure basis for European-wide job placements. Q-Planet now also connects several quality reference centres all across Europe, where they apply these standards. This has translated into a rise in student mobility in practical training. It has also contributed to social inclusion.
This theme is also taken up by Entrepreneurship Education at school in Europe: National Strategies, Curricula and Learning Outcomes study carried out by Eurydice which confirms that entrepreneurship education is indeed being fiercely promoted in most European counties today, although to differing degrees and with varied strategies. The report states that «closer cooperation between stakeholders in education and business is one of the means used to promote and implement entrepreneurship education in Europe». Projects that stimulate cooperation between the worlds of education and enterprise enable students to acquire work experience, and also provide a bridge between policy and entrepreneurial practice.
In this context, following two successful pilot actions by the European Commission, the «Knowledge Alliances» will become a new Erasmus priority under the next LLP call for proposals. It will provide financial support for projects where universities and business join forces to boost their innovation potential, by developing new learning and teaching methods, fostering entrepreneurial skills and attitudes, and promoting structured mobility.
Through a joined up approach between policy, strategy and projects, entrepreneurship education is playing its part in building an entrepreneurial Europe!
Nadin Barth M.A.
ERASMUS Konsortium KOOR/BEST
Koordinierungsstelle für die Praxissemester der Fachhochschulen in Baden-Württemberg
Q-PlaNet-Quality Placements Network
Hochschule Karlsruhe – Technik und Wirtschaft
University of Applied Sciences