More entrepreneurial life at European schools
Start date: Sep 1, 2014,
End date: Aug 31, 2017
Entrepreneurship in European higher education is widely taught in economics departments, but only a few schools have implemented curricula to shape entrepreneurial attitudes in technical and scientific departments. On the other hand, the most innovative companies are technological companies. Therefore, following the example of American universities, there is an urgent need to improve the entrepreneurial skills of students in the fields of science and engineering at European universities.
The project is an answer to an educational problem which is lack of effective tools that could be used to increase social and professional activity of young generation entering the labour market in order to make full use of their potential for the development of economy. The main project objective is to prepare a comprehensive and coherent educational product which introduces the entrepreneurial-skills oriented courses to the curricula of the Institutions that, up to now, have had no or small experience with entrepreneurship teaching. The project will as well be a good platform for the exchange of practices between the institutions with a big experience in that area.
The Entrepreneurship course will shape hard business skills such as recognizing the market, preparing a business plan, attracting investors or protecting intellectual property. But it is also very important that the course will shape soft skills necessary for every entrepreneurial graduate, namely: cooperation in multi-disciplinary teams, leadership, product design and services based on customer strategy development.
The project will involve two kinds of partners: two faculties with no experience in entrepreneurship teaching (BEGINNERS) and three faculties that have already developed and introduced such courses but still want to make those more attractive (ADVANCED). A big advantage of the ADVANCED group is its multidisciplinary: Bialystok University of Technology (BUT) – Faculty of Computer Science, University of Leipzig (ULE) – Small Enterprise Promotion and Training, University of the Aegean (UTA) - Department of Shipping, Trade and Transport. The group of BEGINNERS consists of: University of Aveiro (UDA) and Maritime University of Szczecin (MUS). Those universities would like to introduce an entrepreneurial, skills-oriented course into their curricula.
In the first stage of the project the course programmes of each ADVANCED institution will be compared, their best parts will be chosen to create a new course programme, which will be introduced both at ADVANCED and BEGINNER faculties. Next, the new course programme will be tested twice on a group of students and teachers from partner universities. The first test will be carried out by teachers of ADVANCED partners during the first summer school and the other by teachers of BEGINNER partners during the second summer school. Conclusions and lessons learned in the testing phase will be used to develop comprehensive teaching materials in the form of an e-book.
The new Entrepreneurship course will be a result of work of a multidisciplinary team of teachers of all partner universities. The final results of the project will be disseminated during academic seminars and workshops summaring the project.
The main results of the projects are:
1. Development of Entrepreneurship course programme for a multidisciplinary group of students and e-guidebook to promote it,
2. Improvement of student business skills and positive attitudes towards launching their own company,
3. Exchange of good practices and ideas among teachers of partner universities,
4. Transfer of entrepreneurship knowledge and experience, between universities (project partners), founders/entrepreneurs and (local) business community,
5. Promotion of entrepreneurship course programme among European HEIs and at regional and national levels,
6. Establishing contacts with new partners.
MELES contributes to the modernisation of Europe's higher educational systems as outlined in the 2011 EU Modernisation Agenda in the following priority directions of reforms:
1. improving the quality of education and adaptation of curricula to individual needs and requirements of the labour market and future careers;
2. promoting international cooperation in order to improve performance in education;
3. strengthening the links between education, research and business for innovation and achieving outstanding results;
MELES follows the objectives of Strategic Partnership:
1. developing key competencies, including entrepreneurship, knowledge of languages, knowledge of information technology,
2. customizing the education and skills to labour market needs,
3. entrepreneurship education, active citizenship, better opportunities in the labour market.
MELES also follows the objectives of Europa 2020:
1. enhancing creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship, at all levels of education and training,
2. the development of generic and horizontal skills, in particular related to entrepreneurship, ICT, multilingualism.
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