IEEC blog: The Road Continues

Written by Alison Price

Students are at the heart of what we do and why we do it, so when Dame Sally Davies declared in that the legacy of covid lockdowns “we have damaged a generation” (2023) and that “education has a terrific amount of work to do” we continue to seek to understand their experience, in order to improve our offer.

2022 saw the release of a key report that helps us understand our graduate entrepreneurs. NCUB’s insight report shows the role that universities have in start-ups, as well as providing evidence for the pull of the familiar (or potentially the lower cost accommodation options as students “go home to start up”).  This potentially challenges our understanding of student needs and invites EEUK members to question the approach/resources needed to support these returning entrepreneurs.

As has the evidence from Prospects/Luminate survey (June 2023) that rather than seeking in person careers advice,student’s “go-to” for advice is website and family/friends.  What then is the experience as enterprise educators/start up advisors? And what does this mean for our offer?

Personalised service/support can make the difference, as does shining a light on the under-represented (The Rose Progress review 2023 report) supported by monitoring to understand take up and impact – and to support this, thee is more sector-sharing on through Knowledge Exchange Concordat – check out the new resources/cases!

As the cost of living crisis as well as the impact of covid (Cosmo Study 2023) as continues to impact our students, their experience (HEPI 2023) and our way of working,  we are also looking to AI to see if the lives of our future students and graduates will be easier – or just different.

But things are clearly different for our international graduates seeking to start-up in a post Brexit UK, so when the Home Office asked if we had any questions at our online event in April, the answer was yes! (and their answers, to your questions, are here). And this month sees colleagues at the APPG Entrepreneurship suggesting an entirely new “Blueprint for the World’s Most Pro-Innovation Visa System” (Sept 2023).

But we see that Scotland is leading the agenda with a clear vision for “Innovation in Scotland” (in its Innovation Strategy) which sees the development of the “entrepreneurial campus” through a 10 step plan of recommendations, providing an institutional check list for us to challenge our progress against and making Scotland’s institutions “the ones to watch”.