Chapter 7: Evolving entrepreneurial universities: experiences and challenges in the Middle Eastern context
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Despite great differences in economic conditions and resource availability, social structures, cultural settings and historical backgrounds, Higher Education systems in most countries face similar challenges: maintaining research capacity, combining elite with mass Higher Education, offering lifelong education and providing society with a space for the development and maintenance of critical knowledge, independent thinking, social identity and values. This fact becomes more relevant during recessionary times and has gained the attention of academics, governments and policymakers around the world. Particularly, these efforts have been encouraged because entrepreneurial universities become important catalysts for regional, economic and social development (Guerrero and Urbano, 2011; Kirby et al., 2011). The existing literature on entrepreneurial universities provides insights about the entrepreneurial transformation process of universities in developed countries (e.g., the United States by OíShea et al., 2005, 2007; and Link and Scott, 2005; and Europe by Clark, 1998; Klofsten and Jones-Evans, 2000; Kirby, 2006; Wright et al., 2007; Grimaldi, et al., 2011; and Guerrero and Urbano, 2011, 2012) and current efforts to explore it in developing countries (e.g., Iran by Sooreh et al., 2011; Farsi et al., 2012). The studies evidenced that usually in developing countries the first measures implemented to fostering entrepreneurship within universities are entrepreneurship educational programmes. The main explanation is the positive relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial activity (Coduras et al., 2008).

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