The Commission has put forward recommendations to promote entrepreneurship in European schools and universities and to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs. The recommendations are part of the Commission's strategy to promote entrepreneurship in schools and universities and to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs....
The Commission has presented recommendations to promote entrepreneurship in European schools and universities and to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs.
The recommendations are part of the Commission's strategy to create growth and jobs. In November 2005, the Commission defined the eight key competences that every citizen should have in a modern knowledge-based society, one of which is entrepreneurship.
Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industry, said that to encourage young Europeans to become tomorrow's entrepreneurs, a systematic approach to entrepreneurship education, from primary school to university, is needed.
Accordingly, the Commission has outlined a number of recommendations aimed at equipping education to raise awareness of entrepreneurship at an early stage and to help young people develop basic entrepreneurial skills; at a later stage, universities should integrate entrepreneurship as an important component of the curriculum.
Commissioner for Education and Culture Jan Figel said: ³cEntrepreneurship as a competence refers to an individual's ability to turn ideas into action, to take initiatives, to act responsibly, to accept risks and to achieve one's own goals.
In particular, the Commission recommends that entrepreneurship should be explicitly included in school curricula at all levels as an educational objective. Schools should be given practical support and incentives to integrate entrepreneurship into their curricula; special attention should be given to teacher training and awareness-raising among school principals and cooperation between educational institutions and the local community, including businesses, should be promoted.
While giving various examples of good practice in promoting entrepreneurship in schools, the Commission believes, in particular, that the creation of student-run mini-companies should be further encouraged. Roughly 15 per cent of secondary schools in the EU are already involved in such activities, and the Commission estimates that almost 20 per cent of participants in mini-enterprise activities in secondary education start their own business after completing their studies.
Inspiring a new generation
As far as higher education is concerned, the Commission would like to see entrepreneurship integrated into various courses, particularly in scientific and technical subjects. Teacher mobility between academia and the business world should be encouraged, as should the participation of business in education. The development of networks is also recommended to enable universities to share good practice.
Like entrepreneurship, the other key competences that the Commission intends to promote under its Growth and Jobs strategy are basic mathematics, scientific and technological skills, digital skills, as well as horizontal components such as creativity and critical thinking.