Date: 2011-11-03 Visitcount: 1787
On October 24th, 2011, the international conference on Entrepreneurial Skills and Curriculum Construction was held successfully at the Xixi campus of Zhejiang University. The conference was hosted by Zhejiang University, UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship Education at Zhejiang University, co-organized by the College of Education, Zhejiang University, the Committee of Youth League, Zhejiang University, and supported by the Secretariat of All-China Students Federation, the Zhejiang Province Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, the Zhejiang University Seeco Educational Research Center, the Edulife Company, Italy. More than 70 scholars, mentors and entrepreneurs from Italy, USA, Pakistan, and over 20 Chinese universities attended this conference.
Professor Zheng Qiang, vice president, Zhejiang University & Deputy Director, MOE Steering Committee of Entrepreneurship Education for Colleges and Universities, gave thewelcoming remarks. Mr. Abhimanya Singh, Director and Representative of UNESCO Beijing Office sent a letter of congratulations to the conference. The conference created a venue for broad and thorough exchanges and discussions on six main topics in four sessions through keynote speeches, breakout report, free discussion and interactive communication. The six topics concerned entrepreneurship education and the social responsibility of enterprises, the definition and key elements of entrepreneurial skills, the evaluation of entrepreneurship education programs, entrepreneurial education and curriculum design, strategies of cooperation between universities and enterprises in China and Italy, and the development and tendencies of entrepreneurship education in China.
The first session was about the key issues of entrepreneurship education and skills. Professor Xu Xiaozhou, holder of the UNESCO Chair in entrepreneurship education at Zhejiang University gave a keynote speech entitled “Entrepreneurial Education during the Process of Global Social Transformation”. In the speech, he pointed out that it is an entrepreneurship age now, entrepreneurial skills are the basis of promoting entrepreneurial competitive ability and knowledge entrepreneurship is an opportunity for development. Dr. Ye Yinghua established a structure of the key elements of Chinese graduates' entrepreneurial skills through seven factors based on successive empirical studies, which can provide important clues for entrepreneurship curriculum. Professor Muffatto from the University of Padua, Italy listed special elements of entrepreneurial skills by analyzing three different cases of entrepreneurs who have been successful in different areas of business. Dr. Gianni Arcaro mentioned that training young people to have Meta-competences is essential for future success. Meta-competences include problem-solving, taking responsibilities upon oneself, working under pressure, learning from one’s mistakes, being adaptable, being capable of delegating and others.
The second session was about the evaluation of entrepreneurship education programs. Dr. Mei Weihui pointed out the importance of evaluation of entrepreneurship education, and indicated that besides the indicators and approaches of evaluation, some elements may also affect the effectiveness of evaluation. Professor Margiotta, who is a distinguished scholar in the area of evaluation, reflected about the concept of entrepreneurship and on the relationship between entrepreneurship and competence. He pointed out that to evaluate EE, it is necessary to define the notion of competence as active relation between knowledge, experience and activity. Professor Margiotta also proposed a hermeneutic perspective of evaluation, i.e. a model of generative learning and underlined the role of teachers.
The third session concerned the strategies of promoting entrepreneurial skills. Dr. Hu Rui, Huazhoung Agriculture University, took entrepreneurship curriculum in the UK as an example and stated that inter-discipline is an important approach to design the curriculum, so as to involve more students in this area. Profesor Carlo Socol, the College of Education, Zhejiang University, analyzed the challenges of economy and the importance of entrepreneurship education in the European background. He also mentioned the text books, programs and especially the “Start Cup” competition in Italy. Prof. Xie Zhiyuan, Deputy Dean of Wenzhou Vocational College of Science and Technology, systematically introduced the experience of entrepreneurship education in his college, which has explored an innovative way to promote the entrepreneurial skills of students in an agricultural vocational college. Dr. Pier Paolo Benedetti, founder of Edulife Ltd. in Italy, introduced Europe’s experience in promoting University-Enterprise cooperation; Professor Giovanni Bianco, University of Verona, Italy, took the case of the cooperation between University Verona and enterprises as an example. Dr. Kan Yue, College of Education of Zhejiang University, examined entrepreneurship education in a global background, and analyzed the strategies of promoting cooperation between universities and enterprises from the organization, resource and activity perspectives.
In the fourth session the development and tendencies of entrepreneurship education in China were discussed. Du Huiliang, Vice Secretary-General of All-China Students Federation, introduced the development of “Challenge Cup” Business Plan Competition and different approaches to promote entrepreneurial skills in university students in China. Invited speakers from Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Zhejiang University exchanged their experiences in entrepreneurship education. Then delegates from more than twenty Chinese universities engaged in further discussion on experiences about the business plan competition.
Finally, Dr. Mei Weihui presented the conference conclusion based on the presentations and discussions. Delegates from different countries and HEIs shared their experience on how to better promote entrepreneurial skills of university students.