New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Entrepreneurship in Portuguese Higher Education: a Cross Comparison between Disciplinary Areas

Diana Soares, Universidade Europeia - Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies (Portugal)

Diana Dias, Universidade Europeia - Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies (Portugal)

Abstract

Higher education, as the last stage of formal education, is demanded to develop entrepreneurship skills, helping students to develop their own industrial or social projects and, thereby, to innovate and think “out-of-the-box”. Education for entrepreneurship appears as a relevant teaching model devoted to shape the mind-sets of young people, providing them the nuclear skills, knowledge and attitudes of an entrepreneurial culture. Based on this framework, this study aims to understand how entrepreneurship is defined in the learning outcomes proposed in the new study programs submitted to quality accreditation in Portugal, since 2009. In the scope of a qualitative approach, the content of the learning outcomes was analyzed, distinguishing between technical and generic skills. In general, results reveal that entrepreneurship is fairly mentioned as soft-skill, however, encompassing a vast range of definitions. “To be aware of market opportunities to develop new ideas and new digital projects”, “to adopt a risk-taking posture in business”, or “to develop a sense of initiative and entrepreneurship, and cultural awareness” are examples of how this skill is defined. A better understanding of the multiple definitions related to entrepreneurship skill is provided, in a cross comparison between disciplinary areas, such as social sciences, engineering, and technology. 

Keywords: entrepreneurship, learning outcomes; higher education;

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