Hosted at the Mermaid Theatre London on the 20th of June, EEE Project International Launch brought together a diverse group of practitioners, researchers, policy makers and program managers from across the world. The event was held alongside the University Industry Interaction Conference that allowed the dissemination of project results to larger groups of audiences. The launch program was designed in three sections; the panel Entrepreneurship Education in Higher Education – Global Experiences, EEE Project introduction and showcasing of results, and the interactive Workshop Fostering Entrepreneurship Education in Higher Education, a mix of activities that combined learning, knowledge exchange and hands-on practice.

The Global Experiences session started off with short presentations by the panellists, Ingrid Wakkee, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Rodney Ridley, Executive Director of Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise & Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University and Silvia McCormack, Acting Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor at La Trobe University Australia. During their presentations, the panellists elaborated on the status-quo of the entrepreneurial education in their institutions, success factors, and challenges they tackle in establishing working structures. The diversity of speaker profiles and experiences led to lively discussions between the participants and the experts, with leading questions addressing e.g. assessment of entrepreneurship education, motivation of academics to adopt new approaches to teaching, expansion of entrepreneurial teaching and mindset across all study fields, and culture of start-up failure in European vs. American context.

This session was followed by EEE project introduction and showcasing of the results presented by Florian Bratzke of Univations GmbH, who provided information about the project timeline, outputs and the nature of the stakeholder interaction in the Halle region, in Germany. Further input into the project outputs and regional impact was provided by Christine Pirhofer from Management Center Innsbruck (MCI), and Szabolcs Pronay from the University of Szeged, representatives of the two university partners of the project consortium. These presentations provided a deeper insight into the individual journeys of the institutions during project development and implementation, as well as informing the audience on the most recent advancements in Szeged, and in the region of Tirol, concerning stakeholder collaboration and start-up ecosystems.

The third component of the international launch program, the workshop Fostering Entrepreneurship Education in Higher Education was facilitated by Thorsten Kliewe, in a structure that followed three steps of group work: identification of current challenges in the promotion of entrepreneurship education, development of scaling and funding proposal ideas, and pitching of the developed ideas to the audience. The exercise attracted interest of the participants, due to its interactive nature that fostered discussions on institutional challenges, exchange of experiences, and generation of joint solutions to the common problems identified.

The major challenges addressed by the groups included difficulties with expanding the reach of the entrepreneurial education across all disciplines, lack of opportunities offered to PhDs in adopting an entrepreneurial approach to translate their research into business models, and unavailability of assessment models for entrepreneuial teaching and learning at the universities. This phase was followed by the groups having another round of discussions on whether there is an existing approach that might address these challenges, or fresh new ideas have to be developed. In the last step, the teams visualised their solutions on flip charts, and pitched them to the other team members for further opinion and feedback.

The workshop was concluded with a call for attention to the development of soft skills, and recognition of it by the higher education institutions. When integrated into the curriculum, not as an add-on course or an isolated content but rather an embedded skill present in all subjects, entrepreneurship can find a ground to florish among learners and staff, both as a mindset and a valuable competence.

While the project is approaching to the end of its lifetime, the outputs presented in the EEE platform will be kept updated. Stay tuned!

EEE partnership and La Trobe University of Melbourne, Australia have signed a MoU to collaborate in the field of entrepreneurship education.

The EEE consortium has been contacted by Dr. Silvia McCormack of La Trobe University in May 2017 leading to first successful talks between representatives of either sides shortly afterwards. La Trobe University has recently introduced a rather progressive approach for the integration of entrepreneurship education among all its faculties. As a matter of fact, the components of innovation and entrepreneurship, global citizenship, and sustainability thinking, referred to as “Three Essentials”, have become part of regular course curriculum ever since then. [1]

In her function as Academic Coordinator (coursework) at the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce, Dr McCormack was highly involved in the theoretical development as well as the operational implementation of this approach inside her institution. Given La Trobe`s leading role in the field of entrepreneurship education, the consortium unanimously agreed to propose an associate partnership within EEE. La Trobe officials have equally expressed their interest to exchange best-practice experiences and intellectual resources to foster entrepreneurial aspirations and efforts of students and staff in the involved HEIs.

While the formalization of the partnership was in progress, the EEE team of Management Center Innsbruck has had the pleasure to welcome Dr. McCormack from La Trobe University in Innsbruck already last month. Among others, the institutional approaches for entrepreneurship education pursued at La Trobe and MCU were discussed during this first fruitful meeting. Additionally, MCI officials presented Dr. McCormack the first draft of the EEE Teaching Toolkit – a bundle of high-quality teaching material on entrepreneurship addressing HEI lecturers. In the meantime, La Trobe and EEE officials have mutually signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreement that will allow to further deepen ties between all stakeholders in the months ahead.

Mutual benefits

Given the obvious high potentials to positively contribute to the success of the project, the EEE consortium is strongly convinced of the mutual benefits that will result from the collaboration between EEE and La Trobe. In fact, both sides decided to intensify talks in the upcoming months to identify further areas of collaboration. Apart from jointly discussing and piloting EEE project outputs as well as exchange best-practices experiences, the collaboration with La Trobe University may as well be the impetus to initiate new projects in the field of entrepreneurship education involving all EEE partnering institutions soon.


[1] McCormack, S., Scanlon, C. (2017 in press). Integrating innovation and entrepreneurship into all undergraduate courses: The case of one university in Australia. In Nygard, C. (Ed), Teaching of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education. Libri Publsihing, London.