Title: Higher education and entrepreneurial activities: the experience of graduates

Authors: Simon Stephens

Addresses: School of Business, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Port Road, Letterkenny, Donegal, Ireland

Abstract: This paper explores if and how the models and theories that graduates learn during their time in higher education are applied during entrepreneurial activities. The paper focuses on research that seeks to enhance the understanding of the impact higher education, specifically, the value academic theory and models have for entrepreneurs. The data was collected in two phases. Firstly, a survey was conducted of 100 academics. This survey examines how the academics conceive the relevance of their teaching, learning and assessment to the work environment and activities of entrepreneurs. Secondly, 30 graduates who are entrepreneurs were interviewed. The findings from this research indicate that participation in higher education has positive impacts for the graduates through skill/knowledge development and access to business network members. However, the graduates' perception of the benefits of entrepreneurship are different to the reality of working as an entrepreneur.

Keywords: entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial education; academics; graduates.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEED.2020.110598

International Journal of Education Economics and Development, 2020 Vol.11 No.4, pp.407 - 419

Received: 29 Jul 2019
Accepted: 26 Jan 2020

Published online: 17 Jul 2020 *

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