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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

Letter to the Prime Minister on enterprise and entrepreneurship

Date 30/11/2017

Dear Prime Minister

ln November last year, you wrote to Sir Mark Walport and Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell in their capacities as co-chairs of a review of entrepreneurship education by the Council for Science and Technology.

ln your letter, you highlighted our 2012 guidance on embedding enterprise and entrepreneurship in higher education curriculums. You suggested that the impact of the guidance should be reviewed and potentially updated, and I write today with an update on how this work is progressing.

ln April 2017 we ran a series of events for entrepreneurship educators across the UK that looked at the impact of the guidance. These events showcased good practice case studies involving a diverse range of enterprise and entrepreneurship programmes and initiatives, and highlighted how the guidance has supported and informed the development of these.

Feedback at these events told us that the 2012 guidance has:

  • ​raised the profile and status of entrepreneurship and enterprise activity in UK higher education
  • provided a common framework for developing modules, programmes and other initiatives
  • informed higher education policymaking across the UK
  • been used by the European Commission in a mapping exercise to develop an entrepreneurship competency framework
  • reached international audiences via activities led by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

​Users of the guidance have also told us that, while the principles and advice was still sound, as a result of recent advances and changing landscapes, we should refresh the guidance to ensure that it is still relevant and up to date. Specific recommendations include work to:

  • ​​refresh and revise the content to ensure that the terminology is fully up to date and that it reflects current practice
  • further develop and strengthen the definitions used in the document to better reflect the importance of enterprise and entrepreneurship skills as well as their relevance to UK policy agendas
  • ensure the guidance reflects practice across the UK
  • consider producing supplementary guidance on enterprise and entrepreneurship for students and academics, based on the 2018 revision.

Work to implement these recommendations has begun. An expert advisory group, chaired by Professor Andrew Penaluna, Director of the International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, met for the first time last month. We aim to publish the revised guidance by January 2018. We will also continue to work with the higher education sector to publish and support the sharing of good practice in enterprise and entrepreneurship activity through our long running good practice case study programme.

I will share a copy of the final guidance when we are ready to publish. ln the meantime, if you require any information about the guidance and the work we are doing with experts in the higher education sector to promote and nurture entrepreneurial skills in the UK's students, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Yours sincerely

Douglas Blackstock
Chief Executive