Title: Are engineers becoming more enterprising? A study of the potentials of entrepreneurship education

Authors: Laura Galloway, Maggie Anderson, Wendy Brown

Addresses: School of Management, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK. ' Centre for Entrepreneurship, Napier University, Edinburgh EH14 1DJ, UK. ' Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

Abstract: Many of the UK|s professional engineering institutes, and education generally, promote the development of enterprise skills: enterprise ability is considered appropriate for the modern economy graduates will operate in; and enterprise should increase levels of innovation, entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship in the engineering professions, thus contributing to competitiveness. The current paper draws from a study of enterprise education in three universities, and looks specifically at engineering students. The paper compares perceptions, expectations and enterprise skills development amongst engineering and non-engineering students. The study finds that many engineering students do aim to start firms but this tends to be cited as later than that reported by other students. Engineering students also understand that enterprise skills are relevant to employment and personal development. However, perceptions of enterprise skills development are less common than for other students. This is likely to be because engineering students tend to report they have many enterprise skills anyway.

Keywords: higher education; engineering education; entrepreneurship education; universities; enterprise skills; intrapreneurship; innovation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2006.010958

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2006 Vol.16 No.5, pp.355 - 365

Available online: 21 Sep 2006 *

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