Enterprise and Innovation in the Curriculum
Enterprise in your degree
Cardiff University Enterprise has worked with students to develop their personal enterprise capability and potential new venture start-ups since inception in 2008. From October 2012 the team broadened it's focus from direct extra curricula support of students to supporting academic staff to drive enterprise through their subject discipline.
Over the last twelve months we have hosted three academic sharing forums and discussed the application of enterprise with colleagues from architecture, bioscience, business, chemistry, law, computer science, English, engineering, geography, healthcare, journalism, mathematics, medicine, nursing, optometry, pharmacy, physics, psychology, religion, social science and Welsh.
From an essence of ‘taking an idea and making it happen’, we have found and supported many examples of where contextualised enterprise goes on to aid subject learning and a student’s ability to ‘make a difference’. Over the next year we pledge to continue our support of individual academic staff in their quest to embed skill development within their programmes using enterprise as a relevant and real way of applying research led teaching to the employability agenda.
What is ‘enterprise capability’?
Enterprise capability has a connection to employability, innovation, commercialisation, knowledge transfer and business start-up, however there is a distinction between the generic use of the term ‘enterprise’ in reference to business venture creation and a sense of practical action. The development of an entrepreneurial capability moves beyond knowledge acquisition to a range of intellectual, emotional and social skills that allow for the application of creative ideas and innovations. It can include ideas development, taking the initiative, critical thinking, identifying opportunities, innovation, problem solving, making things happen, networking, communication, strategic thinking and decision making. Development of one’s enterprise capability could be considered as a modern teaching theory that is trans-disciplinary.
Two approaches to embedding enterprise into teaching
The QAA (2012 p6) draws a distinction between ‘learning about enterprise’ and ‘learning for enterprise’. ‘About’ refers to traditional lectures and theoretical underpinnings of a particular theme from within the enterprise and entrepreneurship agenda (eg intellectual property, establishing a small firm). ‘For’ is more experiential by nature drawing students into a meaningful and relevant theory led context that allows for self-learning, reflection, visualisation of opportunities for innovation, and then builds towards gaining an insight into what it means to be enterprising. When considering enterprise each approach has a place, as does the combined approach. There is no conflict with research led teaching as subject driven theory should lead in each case, with enterprise activity being woven in and often unstated.
Embedded Enterprise Exchange ...for sharing and contextualising enterprise & innovation.
The Embedded Enterprise Exchange is an open peer to peer forum for the discussion and sharing of teaching practices associated with enterprise and employability. It is recognised that colleagues from across the institution are already delivering learning that moves towards skills development though practical activity, supporting students to gain an ability to solve problems, develop ideas, identify opportunities and become critical thinkers.
The Embedded Enterprise Exchange aims to bring together academics from a diverse range of disciplines to share knowledge and explore opportunities for collaboration with the intention of advancing their students’ capability to be more enterprising and innovative.
The session will open by briefly outlining current research drivers and guidance before moving to the presentation of a currently active example of enterprise learning at Cardiff University. Though the examination of literature, and both semi formed and fully formed case examples, the second hour will be devoted to self-selecting interest groups who can openly discuss the practical aspects of embedded enterprise development
Why has the Embedded Enterprise Exchange been formed?
Following the two open forums hosted by Cardiff University Enterprise during the past year, academics with an interest in enterprise, innovation and quality improvement though the curriculum reached consensus to establish an informal peer to peer networking group to share and build on practice. It is hoped that the active participants from the first two sessions will again be able to attend, with the addition of a wide selection of other staff members. This is an open forum for all to contribute and share.
New date: Wednesday 12th February 2014, 14.00-16.00, Seminar 1 Trevithick
To confirm your place on either email email@example.com
National Enterprise Educator Award 2013
Sponsored by the Higher Education Academy, team member Neil Coles wins a National Council for Entrepreneurship Education and Enterprise Educators UK Award for his work in supporting the teaching staff at Cardiff University to develop enterprise through the curriculum.
- CBI (2009), Stronger together; Businesses and universities in turbulent times. A report from the CBI Higher Education Task Force. Available at http://www.cbi.org.uk/media/1121439/cbi_he_taskforce_report_strongertogether.pdf (accessed 05 December 2013)
- Oslo Agenda for Entrepreneurship Education in Europe (2006). Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/files/support_measures/training_education/doc/oslo_agenda_final_en.pdf (accessed 05 December 2013)
- QAA. (September 2012). Enterprise and entrepreneurship educations guidance for UK higher education providers. Available at http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Documents/enterprise-guidance.pdf (accessed 05 December 2013).
- Wilson, T (February 2012). A Review of Business–University Collaboration. Available at: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/news/newsarchive/2012/name,69548,en.html (accessed 05 December 2013)
- European Commission (June 2013) Entrepreneurship Education: A Guide for Educators. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/promoting-entrepreneurship/files/education/entredu-manual-fv_en.pdf (accessed 05 December 2013)
- Cardiff University - The Way Forward, Education and Students (accessed 05 December 2013)
- Coles, N. & Abbott, S. (2012). Commercialising innovation within science and engineering. ISBE Conference Paper. (accessed 05 December 2013)
- Abbott, S. & Coles, N. (2012) Developing Enteprising STEM Graduates. HESTEM Case Study. (accessed 05 December 2013)
- Abbott, S. & Coles, N. (2012) Commercialising Innovation - An enterprise education module for STEM discplines. HESTEM module framework. (accessed 05 December 2013)
- Abbott, S. (2013) Simulation, transformation and iteration: Tailoring student centred enterprise learning across disciplines (accessed 05 December 2013)
- Cardiff University School of Biosciences - Enterprise in the curriculum case study (accessed 05 December 2013)
“The module has allowed me to appreciate both the scientific and business aspects of my degree and resulted in a drastic improvement in my ability to present, work as part of a team and exhibit initiative and leadership qualities. The course has also dealt with real-life business examples allowing me to gain hands on, practical experience of problems within the bio-business sector. In addition the module has broadened my career opportunities and highlighted prospective career pathways that I was previously unaware of.” – An extract from the case study write up of the Biotechnology and Business module which was recently implemented within the Biotechnology programme at Cardiff University.
- Cardiff University School of Optometry & Vision Sciences - Enterprise in the curriculum case study (accessed 05 December 2013)
“At the time of commencing the business module, I was confused as to the relevance that enterprise and commercial awareness had on my chemistry degree . . . It soon became apparent that in the post –degree economic working environment, a knowledge and awareness of commercialisation would stand me in good stead for any career path I choose to follow.”- An extract from a piece of student writing which reflects upon the relevance of the recent Chemistry enterprise education sessions.
- Cardiff University School of Chemistry - Enterprise in the curriculum case study (accessed 05 December 2013)
“A business strategy game that simulates the founding and development of a business whilst fostering creativity, communication, decision making, team collaboration and business planning skills. . . students were provided with a brief scene setting scenario which challenged them to generate business strategy and plans for founding and developing a new private optometry practice” – An extract from the case study write up of the recent Optometry enterprise session.
Direct contact with the enterprise in the curriculum team can be made by email or phone -
Neil Coles (ColesN@Cardiff.ac.uk) on 02920781442.