Universities Contribute Jointly to Business Studies
The University of Tartu, Tallinn University, Tallinn University of Technology and Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences shall commence the active application of Business Studies in the Estonian higher education area. The purpose of the institutions of higher education is to increase cooperation with companies in the provision of education, research and development and to expand Business Studies for university students.
Andres Kuusik, a Docent of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of the University of Tartu, stated that the contract under public law entered into with the Ministry of Education and Research provides that the University of Tartu should, in the cooperation with other universities, be responsible for the development of Business Studies. „We have now taken the first steps in order to bring Business Studies in Estonian institutes of higher education to a new level. There is a lot that needs to be done in this area as the percentage of business subjects in Estonian universities is a lot smaller compared to the top universities in Europe. However, the basic knowledge of entrepreneurship, and enterprising spirit as a whole, would be of great help for students in the employment market,“ explains Kuusik why the field is important.
Kuusik believes that it important to get students interested in entrepreneurship by providing them with the basic knowledge of the profession of an entrepreneur, of the forms of entrepreneurship, of the processes in entrepreneurship and of the skills to implement their knowledge in business. The main purpose of Business Studies is to help students create an enterprising spirit and have more initiative in their lives.
Pursuant to the estimates of the Estonian Development Fund, an average of 5% of university graduates becomes entrepreneurs, and they tend to do it later in life, not immediately after graduation. Erik Puura, the Prorector of Development of the University of Tartu, is of the opinion that approximately 10-20% of students have the potential to become entrepreneurs. “Also, experience has shown that students who have become researchers are usually not interested in a career in business, and vice versa. Therefore, target groups won’t overlap and basically there is no competition in regard to a potential choice of career.”
Puura says that universities should also have more initiative in involving well-known practicians in studies and in implementing new educational study methods. “As part of their studies, students could create real-life business projects and analyse practical cases which may result in students establishing their first businesses. The role of lecturers and practicians would be to mentor students in introducing their new businesses,” Puura explains how to get students to have more initiative through their studies.
The universities contribute to the development of Business Studies in the framework of the Business Studies Development Project of the Primus Programme. The purpose of the project is to ensure high-quality Business Studies in Estonian institutions of higher education which contributes to the increase of competitive abilities of university graduates.