UWTSD's Professor Andy Penaluna leads on new QAA guidance on enterprise and entrepreneurship


When universities foster a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurship, it equips students with the skills for a rewarding, self-determined professional life.


Tedx Headshot of Andy

It also has significant benefits for the institution itself, says new guidance from the UK’s independent quality body QAA, publishing on 18 January. The guidance will also be available in Mandarin, following widespread use of the previous version.

QAA Chief Executive Douglas Blackstock says: "Since we published our original guide to enterprise and entrepreneurship education in 2012, there have been substantial developments in UK and international policy and practice.

"Alongside providers' adoption of new types of learning and new metrics for success are recent policy drives to apply entrepreneurial approaches to STEM subjects and the government's new Industrial Strategy. This updated guide responds to these changes."

The revised guidance, led by Professor Andrew Penaluna of the International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, captures the latest thinking on how to embed enterprise and entrepreneurship in higher education.

"Educators are often tasked with preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that have not yet been invented, and spotting and solving problems that we have yet to define clearly,' says Professor Penaluna.

"For enterprise and entrepreneurship to be meaningful and effective requires new approaches to teaching and assessment within a whole university culture.

"The best opportunities for students occur when universities create a central environment that supports collaborative working across different areas."

While the last five years have seen significant progress in enterprise and entrepreneurship education, Professor Penaluna believes universities can do a lot more to prepare graduates who want to run their own businesses or hit the ground running as graduate employees.

"We need to allow students to learn in a way that enables them to identify and solve real problems, perhaps starting a business as an integral part of their programme or responding to challenges set by a local enterprise,' he says.

"And, allow them to fail, especially when learning is the result. Being able to experience failure in order to find new ways forward is a valuable life lesson that increases resilience, helps flexible thought development and brings innovative new ideas into play.

"When something as influential as this happens, it is often overlooked where things started to develop. For UWTSD our journey began when we listened to past students, and took on board what they told us about life beyond graduation. Simply put, it was our own past students who first set us on the enterprise education path, and they continue to teach us to this day.

"UWTSD takes pride in doing good things locally, then taking them to a global community, and its difficult to find a better case than this. Working in partnership with great colleagues and institutions to create this distinctive guidance on enhancing the quality of provision, we have redefined what it means to have a good university education."

You can view the publication here: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/publications/information-and-guidance/publication/?PubID=3222#.WmCNka5l_IU

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