K. Voldsund1, M.B. Harsányi2, S.T. Hagen3

1Bergen University College (NORWAY)
2Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) (HUNGARY)
3University College of Southeast Norway (NORWAY)
What are the important factors in an innovation course to make the non-business students more innovative and behave as entrepreneurs? Which of these factors are ideal to have included into learning platform, what exist on the market, what can we benchmark from them into our own learning tool?

This paper aims at identifying current needs for interdisciplinary entrepreneurship education at the universities and investigates the unique institutional context. Needs assessment and benchmarking have been both desk-based research, including the use of online services and information, and on-the-spot research to gather the input and the point of view of the end-users.

We have analyzed and reflected on the factors at Bergen University College (BUC) and Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) within innovation and entrepreneurship courses, to be able to define learning objectives and strategies by understanding present situation, stakeholders’ interest and identifying other institutional factors, problems and barriers. Professors, non-business students and administrative staff concerned has been involved in order to provide a systematic approach. Their opinion and ideas have been gathered on the topic. Non-business students come from faculty of engineering at BUC and Psychology, Education, Informatics, Law, Humanities and Science at ELTE.

The main results from this project will be a web-based learning tool, by which the non-business students can experience peer-learning in business situations and can develop a general set of competences applicable in working life. Moreover, start-up interdisciplinary working-groups for business and non-business students will be established to emerge new business ideas. This process will be mentored and guided by business practitioners, while close collaboration between higher education institutions and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)/industry participants will be established. In addition, this study has reflected on the different needs of the participating universities and their stakeholders, and has ensured an effective entrepreneurial curriculum based on real experiences, which can hence be a strong integral part of their? education. One last outcome from this project has been to raise the awareness (at both universities) on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship, to improve staff competencies and to develop a thorough and effective entrepreneurial curriculum in particular for non-business students.

This is a 17 months project executed by the consortium of Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), the Bergen University College (BUC) and the BusinessWorks Ltd. (funded by the EEA/Norway Grant, Scholarship Programme.) In Norway, a national strategy enhancing entrepreneurial education with special emphasis on higher education has already been established. In addition to that, the BUC has a strong track record in entrepreneurial education and will transfer this knowledge and experience to the project. In Hungary, national programs promote the creation of start-ups, and strengthening the role of education in supporting this process is very important.

Our paper brings several contributions to the domain of entrepreneurial education and courses. The main value is to find what the most effective teaching methods are and to develop an interactive learning tool, which provides students from various disciplines with a web-based business simulation, in order to motivate them to work together on real business cases.