Edited by Alain Fayolle and Dana T. Redford
Chapter 3: Managing the improvement of entrepreneurship education programmes: a comparison of universities in the life sciences in Europe, USA and Canada
A central feature of the transition towards an entrepreneurial university is the development of an entrepreneurship education programme. Following Etzkowitzís definition of the entrepreneurial university as a ënatural incubator, providing support structures for teachers and students to initiate new venturesí (Etzkowitz, 2003, p. 112), entrepreneurship education can be seen as one of its three key missions (cf. Guerrero, 2008). Furthermore, the development and implementation of entrepreneurship courses and other activities that favour student attitudes towards entrepreneurship can be seen as factors that potentially facilitate the development of entrepreneurial universities (Kirby et al., 2011). In this chapter we contribute to the literature on the entrepreneurial university by focusing on research-based interventions to implement or improve the entrepreneurship education programme. To this end, a benchmark study is executed in a specific domain of the life sciences in Europe, USA and Canada: the agri-food sciences. The focus on entrepreneurship in a specific domain is important, because learning is generally thought to be domain or context specific (Brown et al., 1989; Rae, 2006). Benchmarking is a method that is developed in order to determine the best practices and analyse the similarities and differences in activities that lead to higher or lower performance (Jackson and Lund, 2000).
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