M.A. Pérez Alonso1, J.C. Sánchez García2

1University of Applied Sciences JOANNEUM (AUSTRIA)
2Universidad de Salamanca (SPAIN)
The entrepreneurial career choice intention among higher education students in Europe differs significantly from those in some Asian countries and the USA. While more than 50% of students from the last mentioned geographic areas considered self- employment as an attractive career path in 2014 just 37% of European students contemplated this professional option. Due to the indisputable importance of the entrepreneurial activity for the socio economic regional stability and growth, it is imperative for the European education system to reflect how it may, more significantly, contribute to flourish an entrepreneurial culture within the EU. Following Baldasarri (2014) more than half of the student population in Europe do not have access to entrepreneurship education and if it is not sufficiently integrated in the curriculum and mostly offered in the faculty of business studies or focusing on pure business issues. The content of these programs is targeted at providing students with, surely, helpful skills to run a nascent company but rarely aims at enhancing entrepreneurial attitudes and intentions among pupils. In this paper the current state of entrepreneurial education in engineering higher education in the EU is analyzed and afterwards an approach is proposed rather based on fostering the entrepreneurial mindset of engineering students than on providing practical tools to conduct a company. Following the findings of the cognition and personality psychology on entrepreneurship, a cross curricular model is proposed in order to encourage engineering students to undertake new venture creation by taking into account the idiosyncrasy and special needs of this group.