In my first blog as Chair of EEUK, I am delighted to have the opportunity to reflect on one of the best bits of the EEUK calendar – the International Enterprise Educators Conference of course! – and to offer you some expectations of the year to come. So, to the conference…
Wow. How to reflect on such a vibrant, diverse and fantastic few days – that went far too quickly. If you missed the latest IEEC hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University, I do hope you managed to follow some of the highlights on twitter #IEEC2017 or had a chance to read some of the blogs that have gone out since (Catherine Brentnall’s is a good place to start!)
For me, it was a conference to find the ‘new’ and to ‘renew’. New faces, new ideas, new inspiration and new ways to work with colleagues. It was wonderful to see so many new people to IEEC (we had a bumper year!) and I hope that everyone found the IEEC community to be useful and welcoming as I did when I first attended IEEC. As usual, the parallel sessions covered a broad range of insights and experience in teaching, research and practice. I was torn between which of the many of the sessions to attend but came away from each one I went to with a different idea that I want to implement straight away! I think this is why IEEC is so perfectly timed at the start of the new academic year – you can feel the enthusiasm to get back and get stuck into making changes bubble up over the course of the conference.
IEEC also provides an opportunity to renew – acquaintances, friends, confidence and passion. Because it’s no secret that working in this space is tough. So it’s nice to have the opportunity to remember there is a big community of enterprise educators in the UK and internationally and that we’re all in it together – in the good times and the not-so-good times.
Those of you who were at the conference will have seen the call for input into EEUK’s next policy paper which we will have out to you all soon for comment. It will provide the platform for EEUK’s activity over the coming year (and beyond). Please do make sure that you have your say by completing our policy survey or contacting Alison Price (Head of EEUK policy) directly.
Another big agenda for this year is strengthening our international relationships, which kicks off with a trip for 8 of our members to Japan in the next couple of weeks – you’ll be able to read all about this in the next EEUK blog.
Alongside all of this new work, we have our usual events lined up throughout the year and are continuing to provide funding for individual activities, such as the Richard Beresford Bursary, the new Ask KEN fund and the Enterprise Education and Research Project Fund. Calls for the Bursary and Ask KEN are open, the research fund will open in the spring.
Finally, a big big thank you to everyone who made IEEC possible this year. Looking forward to next year’s already!
Dr Sarah Underwood