Eight Estonian institutions of higher education aim together at developing entrepreneurial initiative in education
On 29 October, the representatives of the institutions of higher education signed in Rakvere the memorandum of cooperation for developing entrepreneurial initiative. The common target of the parties is to increase the entrepreneurial attitude of the graduates irrespective of their area of specialisation or curriculum. More and more cooperation is seen to occur with the companies.
The memorandum of cooperation was signed by the University of Tartu, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn University, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonian Academy of Culture, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Estonian Business School and Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences.
By signing this memorandum, the representatives of the institutions of higher education demonstrate that it is their common desire to cooperate in developing entrepreneurial initiative and business culture, and in linking them to provision of education, research, development and creative activities. The institutions of higher education see themselves as a common network in cooperation with public, private and non-profit sectors in Estonia as well as at international level.
“An educational institution has entrepreneurial initiative if essentially all graduates would agree that the institution has supported their entrepreneurial development. Entrepreneurial initiative is essential in the development plans of all members of our cooperation network. From now on, we will set common goals and share our best competencies and practices, while taking advice and recommendations both from international experts as well as Estonian entrepreneurs,” says Erik Puura, Vice-Rector for Development of the University of Tartu.
According to Puura, the University of Tartu has the responsibility of leading the cooperation network ahead of it “At the same time, if agreements are concluded on the rectorate level, experts from different subunits will find cooperation and understanding the value of the outcome to be much easier. We are firmly rooted in Europe and the forefront of the world in our thoughts; now, it is time to make our common ideas a reality,” states Puura who recently presented the concept of an entrepreneurial university at a conference in Madrid.
The Estonian Employers’ Confederation has also encouraged the integration of entrepreneurial studies in curricula in the new employers’ manifesto. The institutions of higher education agree with several proposals formulated in the manifesto for styling dynamic and alert Estonia, and they would like to continue their discussion of the future of enterprising Estonia.
For example, the employers’ manifesto finds it to be important that the employers are more involved in planning and executing of the education policy. The institutions of higher education highly appreciate the participation of the employers in increasing the quality of education by means of the curriculum council, instruction during the period of practical training, and implementation of the studies with practical orientation. At the same time, the institutions of higher education recognize that contribution of the employers is different in different areas of specialisation, and very often cooperation remains rather formal. Common interest with the employers definitely allows the universities to improve cooperation, the representatives of the universities think.
One of the goals of the institutions of higher education is also enterprising international students. Foreign students need to have possibilities for continuing their activities in Estonia as an entrepreneur or employee also after graduation, and here, the effort of employers in offering more places for practical training would be welcome.
Cooperation is carried out in the framework of the programme “Systematic Development of Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Studies across the Levels of Education,” during the years 2015-2022.
Further information: Erik Puura, Vice-Rector for Development, phone: 737 4802, 506 9882, e-mail: erik.puura [ät] ut.ee.