Entrepreneurship education in science, engineering & technology: Challenging the idea that “one-size-fits-all”

P. McGowan, Sarah Cooper

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper investigates how EE happens in practice within SET faculties in HEIs, offers a critique of current approaches and presents new insights to the challenges for EE within SET faculties

Prior Work:
Over the past two decades a key driver has been a growing interest in the commercialisation of technology within HEIs. Barr et al (2009: 371) argue that this interest has not been sufficiently “translated into a defined body of knowledge that addresses the education paradigm and process of university commercialisation of technology education programmes”. They identify a gap between the development of new innovative technologies in HEIs and potential to leverage value from these innovations through effective commercialisation activities, requiring a response from HEIs to support students’ learning in SET areas. While Rae et al (2014) consider that general frameworks to guide entrepreneurship educators in supporting student’s entrepreneurial learning have been developed in recent years they, along with Souritaris et al (2007), insist that education for the effective commercialisation of technologies requires approaches more suited to the SET context.

The authors critically review current research in and generic models of entrepreneurial learning and question whether these ideas are appropriate for and sufficiently sensitive to the approaches to the learning of students within academically “hard” subject areas, such as SET.

The authors argue that a one-size-fits-all approach is inappropriate for the development of student learning within an SET context and may even be detrimental, that the mentality, outlook, and learning approaches of students within SET faculties and, indeed, educators in this space, differ fundamentally from students within other faculties, which might be described as academically “soft” areas.

Implications for theory, policy and practice for EE within HEIs are considered and new insights to the challenges for EE within SET faculties are presented

The research adds to the growing body of knowledge on EE but with a particular focus on SET faculties within HEIs, recognising the growing importance of how success in this space if economic development targets are to be achieved and sustained.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventISBE Conference 2015 - Scotland, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Nov 201512 Nov 2015


ConferenceISBE Conference 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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