Best Practices and Breakthrough Models
Edited by Sven H. De Cleyn and Gunter Festel
Chapter 11: Stimulating student entrepreneurship within a traditional university model: the case of the AU Student Incubator
Universities in general are very conservative institutions with proud academic traditions. Several ranking systems attempt to define what it means to be among the best universities in the world. Criteria taken into consideration include research activity, research funding, number of peer-reviewed scientific publications (in ranked journals), number of citations, number of Nobel Prize winners, reputation of educational programs, number of international students, etc. These criteria are all defined by the academic world. However, increasing demand from society and industry urges universities to become better at bringing research-based knowledge into society and into application in the real world. Research outcomes from a joint research project funded by a major industrial partner will find their way to real-world applications. Research findings are also embedded in educational programs at different levels – from short courses to entire degree programs. Graduates are thus expected to both learn and transfer knowledge when they take up jobs in industry or government. However, this process is not only time-consuming but also graduates often find it difficult to apply their university-acquired knowledge practically. Thus, entrepreneurship is largely seen as a route to fast track academic knowledge to real-world application.
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