Beyond 3E, #EntEd, start-up or spin-out!

Written by Alison Price

Photo by on Unsplash

All enterprise educators know that their work can extremely tightly focused, when working with particular disciplines or sector-starts, and yet we are informed by the broader issues, which shape our learners, their future working lives, the communities in which they work, and/or sectors in which they seek to start up in.

EEUK’s policy work seeks to appreciate how these agendas impact upon our work and, in this blog, seeks to update on:

Global Skills Agenda: With the apparent ‘demise’ of the term ‘soft skills’ (as we collectively acknowledge that nothing about them is soft, squishy, mellow, or muted!) working online as heightened our understanding that interpersonal, communication and other key skills that need active support and development throughout a career. Recent changes such as hybrid working (Coursera 2023) has shown that whist, access to the internet is inevitably tied to individual economic opportunity, the learning gender gap can be closed by online learning (as seen with significant shifts in areas such as Kazakhstan, USA, Philippines, Thailand, Mexico and Spain).

International Students: With many members frustrated by the Home Office visa changes (see here for your questions, answered) it is clear, from the work of our colleagues at Tenentrepreneurs that foreign born founders build the UK’s fastest growing businesses. Their call for a Passport to Progress looks at other countries, such as Canada, China to create a blueprint for the future. EEUK welcomed this call, frustrated by the limits on test trading that are inhibiting our own graduates from starting up in the UK, looking to MPs to remove the barriers to staff and students innovating and creating UK businesses.

Knowledge Exchange: Amanda Selveratnam, University of York, shared the importance of Knowledge Exchange with delegates at IEEC2023, explaining that, whether you are in a funded role or not (Nation State Innovation funding, such as HEIF in England or the Scottish Funding Council’s University Innovation Fund (UIF)) metrics, knowledge exchange and “being part of what you want to see” is key.

Whilst the nation states may take different approaches, the underpinning need to “shout about” what you do, sharing your stories, metrics, and successes with your senior team is key.  By understanding what your institution reports on (whether under teaching, research, or knowledge exchange) you can find your place in each agenda and anchor your activity as core.  Through an appreciation of institutional drivers, you have the opportunity to explain how your #EntEd #3E work provides contributions in these key areas, and how you support the student experience, knowledge exchange and role in the wider community.