Entrepreneurship Education, EIASM, ECSB
Peer reviewed paper: "Are measures of higher education entrepreneurial outcomes relevant? Introducing AGILE"
Objectives - This paper reviews existing evidence to consider how relevant current measures of employability and entrepreneurial (E&E) outcomes, at the end of a higher education (HE) experience are, as a means for evaluating the longer term value of a course of HE study. It aims to contribute to existing entrepreneurship education (EE) practice through proposal of a student-driven opportunity to track related personal and professional achievement over the course of a programme of HE study.
Prior work - Government papers, theorists and practitioners have discussed whether exit performance metrics engender positive or negative responses in the HE sector. Educators continue to argue that employability and entrepreneurial outcomes should not focus heavily on hard skills, but a broader range of behavioural, attitudinal and mindset changes, claiming these provide greater longitudinal value for graduates.
Approach - Through a semi-systematic narrative exploration of entrepreneurship education literature, focusing on areas of learning gain, mindset, and identity formation, the following research questions are explored against extant literature;
•Do explicit links exist between HE employability and entrepreneurial outcomes?
•Do current HE first destination metrics effectively capture employability and enterprise outcomes?
•How can students prepare themselves for a hybrid exit trajectory?
Results - After a review of dominant thinking, the authors deduce and propose a conceptual mindset model; ‘AGILE’, which explicitly embraces entrepreneurial learning opportunities and encourages development of 5 key mindset dimensions: Adaptable, Gatherer, Identity Awareness, Life-Long Learning and Enterprising,
Implications and value - We ask HE stakeholders to consider the value of the embedding the ‘AGILE’ mindset approach within their own curricula, as, it is contended, by placing the onus on students to reflect, self-evaluate and record their own ‘small-wins’, this model could provide more individualised means for students to use related learning, by encouraging exploitation of employability and entrepreneurial development opportunities.
Future developments could include exploration of an ‘AGILE’ online gamified platform where students can competitively review each other’s achievements, using smart learning environments, generating big-data which could be used to evaluate learner-analytics.