I wish you all a happy, creative and innovative 2009 and that the force may be with you!

Back in October, without much fanfare, the European Commission has published an interesting survey on entrepreneurship in Higher Education Institutions. It confirms empirically what is commonplace by now, that the scope of entrepreneurial education in the EU is worrisome ”given that “more than half of Europe’s students at the higher educational level [or more than 11 million students] do not even have access to entrepreneurial education”.

Not surprisingly, access to in- or extra-curricular activities that can stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit of students is better in the old’ EU15 than in the new Member States. The survey also finds that EU students are more likely to obtain access to entrepreneurial education, if they attend either a business school or a multidisciplinary institution with a business school department. In contrast specialized institutions, particularly in the technical domain, were lagging behind when it comes to entrepreneurial education.

The report also claims “that entrepreneurial education is still immature in the sense that it is often person driven and depends upon the efforts of individuals rather than a collective, strategic effort on the part of the higher education institutions or government.”

It recommends that there is much room for improvement by learning from other institutions, for instance on curriculum development. Only around half of the institutions in the survey import entrepreneurial education from other institutions, and even fewer have formalised exchange of good practice. That’s certainly a field where stronger regional cooperation, funded by Structural Funds or other programmes, or on an own-funds basis, such as within the ERRIN network, could help.

The survey is available online and includes an Annex with lots of good practice examples from across Europe.

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