Entrepreneurship Education in HEIs: Comparing Innovative Teaching Methods and Curriculum Design Approaches - A Multiple Case Study of 5 European HEIs
Abstract: The thesis addresses modern practices in teaching methods and curriculum design approaches that are currently being used by top-ranked European higher education institutions (HEIs) in delivering their entrepreneurship programs. It reveals key differences and similarities in terms of what content and teaching methods the programs are using to teach entrepreneurship. The thesis also addresses the question of which of the practices and approaches can be considered innovative. In light of absence of the optimal model for teaching entrepreneurship education (EE), the thesis aims at presenting a snapshot of what is happening in the field of EE in European HIEs in order to provide the opportunity for EE actors to learn from the examples.The study is designed as a multiple case study and includes 5 cases of entrepreneurship programs taught at Antwerp Management School (Belgium), Rotterdam School of Management (The Netherlands), Copenhagen Business School (Denmark), ESADE (Spain), and Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden). It is based on both primary data collected through interviews with students, alumni, professors, and program coordinators; and secondary data that includes programs websites and brochures. Furthermore, the thesis presents a comprehensive literature review of modern practices and innovations in the field EE.The empirical findings clearly illustrate the uniqueness of the programs and the vast diversity of practices used in delivering entrepreneurship education. The thematic analysis showed that in relation to curriculum design the programs are involving external actors, structuring their education in form of stages of venture, providing customization options, using track-dependent content, and adding personal-development- and technologies-focused content to the core entrepreneurship subjects. From the perspective of teaching methods, the programs are actively using role plays, hands-on simulations, multidisciplinary projects, games and competitions, experiential learning, internships and international trips.The study argues that even though most of the practices used by the programs can be considered innovative from the perspective of being the opposite of traditional approach, the programs are lagging behind what is happening in the field of real-life entrepreneurship. There is a room for use of more advanced technologies, a demand for making the content more target group specific, a need to gamify EE and make it more relevant to what is happening in real entrepreneurship.
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