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Monday, February 13, 2006

Commission tables plan to promote business spirit in schools and universities

Education - Training, Industry, SME Policy,

News If Europe wants to successfully maintain its social model, it needs more economic growth, more new firms, more entrepreneurs willing to embark on innovative ventures, and more high-growth SMEs.

Today, the European Commission has outlined a set of recommendations aimed to enhance the role of education in creating a more entrepreneurial culture in European societies. Starting from an early age, school education should stimulate young people’s awareness of entrepreneurship as options for their future, give them the means to develop basic entrepreneurial skills and help them to be more creative and self-confident in whatever they undertake. At a later stage, universities and technical institutes should integrate entrepreneurship as an important part of the curriculum, spread across different subjects, and require or encourage students to take entrepreneurship courses. This initiative forms part of the EU’s Lisbon partnership for Growth and Jobs. The capacity of Europe to successfully compete and grow depends to a large extent on encouraging more start-ups and fostering entrepreneurial mindsets through education and learning. Coherent entrepreneurship education initiatives are still too few. However, good practice can be found in Europe. The challenge lies in spreading further the existing positive examples. The Commission recommends the following measures: National and regional authorities should establish cooperation between different departments, leading to developing a strategy with clear objectives and covering all stages of education. Curricula for schools at all levels should explicitly include entrepreneurship as an objective of education. Support for schools and teachers Schools should be given practical support and incentives to encourage take-up of entrepreneurship programmes. Special attention should be given to training teachers and to raising the awareness of heads of schools. Cooperation between educational establishments and the local community, especially businesses, should be encouraged. The use of student mini-companies at school should be further promoted. Fostering entrepreneurship in higher education Higher education institutions should integrate entrepreneurship across different courses, notably within scientific and technical studies. Public authorities’ support is especially needed to provide high-level training for teachers and to develop networks that can share good practice. Teacher mobility between university and the business world should be encouraged, together with the involvement of business people in teaching. Entrepreneurship includes creativity, innovation and risk taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives. Methods of promoting a more open attitude towards entrepreneurship include practical project work, role playing and visits to local enterprises . Mini companies run by secondary school school students are one of the most effective ways of promoting the entrepreneurial spirit of youngsters. Education in entrepreneurship increases the chances of start-ups and self-employment. Around 20% of participants in mini-company activities in secondary school, for example, go on to create their own company after their studies

Source :  Key Objectives for Education in 2010


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