With expectations building for a post-pandemic life, enterprise educators are drawing from across the sectors to understand what a low-touch economy might mean for those starting businesses as well as appreciating the impact for on campus learning next academic year. Whilst the foundations of UK enterprise education will continue to inform our approach, recent reports, such as Sutton Trust report ‘The University of Life’ shine a light on systemic inequalities and help us focus on skill development. The work of the Sutton Trust, together with their subsequent report (which highlights at home learning as a world of ‘zoom fatigue’ with the limited opportunity to engage in a university’s enriching experiences) explores how the development of life skills has been impacted.
As enterprise education is about skill development as well as building the opportunities to build confidence, appreciating these systematic barriers can help form a review of enterprise support, as can working and listening to your current students. Providing tools to help them articulate their learning over the last few months, where they have demonstrated resilience in an online world and found opportunities to engage in teamwork or demonstrate leadership can help you understand their experience and build their confidence for interview or self-employment. In this way, tools like EntreComp as the European framework for entrepreneurial competences, can provide a road map for personal reflection and institutional review.
Free tools such as the Finish accreditation tool YOOP can help students appreciate their developing entrepreneurial competences and asking students to use clear reflective techniques, such as CAR or STAR method, to draw out examples can help them evidence experience and build confidence.
In reviewing your current practice and approach, your ambition to ‘build back better’ may well see the benefits of online learning coming through to a truly blended approach to the next academic year.
Head of Policy and Professional Development, EEUK