An investigation of entrepreneurship education in Higher Education in Scotland: what is offered and how does it match the experiences and expectations of lecturers and students

Sofianos, Michail (2024) An investigation of entrepreneurship education in Higher Education in Scotland: what is offered and how does it match the experiences and expectations of lecturers and students. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Entrepreneurship is a concept with ancient origins that developed through Economics and Business in the modern world. Entrepreneurship Education was conceived within the last century and over the last decades has transformed Entrepreneurship from a process into a journey and a mindset with wide applications.

Starting with the intention to find out how Entrepreneurship Education helps students on the practical levels of how to survive into a new venture and start a business, the literature took me into a journey through definitions, models and existing research, showing that my research had to focus on a level of programmes’ structure and university aims and purposes, seen through students’ experiences and intentions.

By creating a map of all the Entrepreneurship courses and modules within the Scottish higher education institutions, along with their aims and intentions, I used interviews as qualitative data to examine their common grounds with students and identify potential aspects that are defined differently by each side, as well as the repertory grid to gather additional data from the students.

The discussion covered multiple aspects from the view of the universities, the lecturers, and the students. It seems that the aim of the universities is mostly to develop Entrepreneurship as a mindset, not necessarily to create new Entrepreneurs. The lecturers do not always need to be informed about the university aims and that the wider the recruitment conditions are, the more simplified the programmes tend to be. Entrepreneurship though becomes gradually a field of knowledge and a mindset that can adapt within other fields.

The circumstances of each student seem to determine their future plans, but it also seems that there are ideas that were inspired during their studies and plans of action to support their development in new ventures. When choosing modules though sometimes the content is not what they would expect based on the title and a level of overlapping was identified. The students were expecting a higher level of advanced knowledge within their programmes and would want them to be more focused and more specific. The attempt to participate in new ventures fast seems more complicated than initially thought and market experience through employment seems like a preferable first step for most. It is common that the students perceived mostly skills improvement overall with only a few cases that demonstrated negative
impact on skills related to the appreciation of entrepreneurship qualities and readiness.

This research brings together what the Scottish HEIs offer in regard to Entrepreneurship and identifies their stance across the provisions on Entrepreneurship Education. Contrasting with the views of the students it shows ways for potential improvements to match the needs of the market of Entrepreneurship Education in higher education, showing also potential weak points and aspects that they could focus on.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Fagan, Dr. Catherine and Osborne, Professor Michael
Date of Award: 2024
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2024-84115
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2024 15:15
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2024 15:15
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.84115

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