INTEGRATION OF THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP COMPONENT INTO UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULA AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ZULULAND
University of Zululand (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:As far back as the first university in Bologna (11the century), higher education have always been seen as a vehicle for social, religious, legal and economic enlightenment. In effect, “a resurgence of economic activity” and the unprecedented rate of “urbanization” in Europe in the middle-ages (14th century), is appraised as direct impact of the university institution. For, it was in cities with closer proximity to universities in Germany, France and Italy that changes came faster, to a fast-tracked transformation from a rural, into a dominant urban commercial Europe that we have come to know. A growing “capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with its risks” (in order to make a profit) are the central elements of this economic enlightenment. Known as entrepreneurship – this spirit finds expression in innovation and calculated risk-taking, without which, economic success in competitive global markets becomes less likely. Hypothetically however, entrepreneurship appear to diminish from the mainstream curricula, but finding increased expression in curricula of major university business schools. In the light of the rising unemployment in the UniZulu neighboring region (Northern KZN), we became suspicious of the status-quo, and wanted to understand (i) the level to which entrepreneurship is accommodated in undergraduate curricula at Unizulu. We also wanted to understand (ii) how can exiting graduates be empowered to become generators rather than seekers of employment. In this quest, we analyzed undergraduate course prospectus across all faculties. Using mixed research methods, we analyzed how innovation and entrepreneurship risk-taking were accommodated in each course. The findings show a bleak picture. At best, about half the modules presented analyzed, especially in the Faculty of Education and Faculty of Commerce, Administration & Law (CAL) were purely business modules, focusing on teaching students about business and accounting practices at the managerial level – with no focus on entrepreneurship. Some of these modules were shared between faculties e.g. ARTO112 is shared between Education and Science, while Education and CAL also shared CBMG301 and CBMG302 modules. At worst, no undergraduate modules with innovation and business risk-taking were discovered in our analysis. So, no undergraduate modules reflected the subject topic. Given the urgency of the subject, we conclude a prioritization of the entrepreneurship platform in undergraduate curricula, research and technology transfer processes at UniZulu. On research the faculty member and graduate students’ research projects, outputs with innovative solutions to local needs (with a potential market value), should be promoted. A revised entrepreneurship embedded curriculum, together with a framework for faculty and students’ start-up enterprises should be prioritized.
Keywords: Entrepreneurial University, Entrepreneurship Platform, Research Impact, Theory & Practice Research, Student Entrepreneurship, Student Start-Up Enterprise.