Press Releases 2014-2015

UWTSD Creates World-First Entrepreneurship Curriculum for Macedonia

16.11.2015

As the world marks Global Entrepreneurship Week (16-22 November) the Republic of Macedonia, led by University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), has become the first nation in the world to implement an entrepreneurship education curriculum across all of its primary and secondary schools.

At the request of the President of the Republic of Macedonia, Dr Gjorge Ivanov, academics at UWTSD, through its International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurial Development (IICED), have written a policy for entrepreneurship education. Following a successful bid to the World Bank as a part of its ‘Skills Development and Innovation Support Project’, UWTSD was chosen to implement the policy by creating an integrated and coordinated curriculum which, as of this academic year, now runs throughout primary and secondary schools.

Andy Penaluna is Professor of Creative Entrepreneurship at UWTSD and is Director of the IICED. Led by Professor Penaluna, representatives from IICED have visited Macedonia on several occasions in recent months to conduct workshops about the new curriculum for the nation’s teachers. In addition, working with the country’s National Centre for Development of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Learning, UWTSD has created a handbook for teachers, ‘How to teach entrepreneurship?’, which will be distributed within the next few weeks.

Professor Andy Penaluna said: “Our link with Macedonia started in 2011 during my tenure as Chair of Enterprise Educators UK, a UK education network who support and develop enterprise education. I was invited to the country to support its aim of setting up its own enterprise educators network. This was so successful that President Ivanov invited me to return to the country and speak to its businesses about employability. It was clear that there needed to be a policy for entrepreneurship education and the Macedonian government agreed. The President then asked UWTSD to help develop the policy with the European Training Foundation in Turin, and the project progressed from there.”

Professor Radmil Polenakovikj, from the National Centre for the Development of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Learning in Macedonia, said: “Global problems need an international perspective, but good practices can also be learned from the experiences of universities like UWTSD. Here in Macedonia, our government has adopted their initiatives and are adapting them to suit our local circumstances.”

The project in Macedonia has extended the University’s work outside of the European Union. Within Europe UWTSD, through IICED, is recognised by the European Commission as one of the continent’s leading enterprise thinkers and providers.

Entrepreneurship is recognised by the EU as one of the eight key competences for life-long learning, and thus necessary for all members of a knowledge-based society. It is also regarded as an enabler for economic recovery, growth, job creation employment, inclusion, poverty reduction, and also innovation and productivity. It has become a policy priority for the EU and measures have been taken to incorporate entrepreneurship into different policy fields, including education.

Dr Yves Punie, Project Leader at European Commission’s Joint Research Committee, said: “Professor Andy Penaluna has made a significant contribution to the development of the Entrepreneurship Competence framework for European Citizens which is being established by the European Commission Institute of Prospective Technological Studies (JRC IPTS). JRC IPTS would be pleased with follow-up support from IICED on the further development of the European Entrepreneurship Competence framework.”

Professor Penaluna said: “Throughout Europe, lecturers, teachers and life-long learning specialists are struggling to develop the innovative and entrepreneurial mindsets that learners need to create sustainable new businesses and social ventures. Seeing new opportunities, being resilient, being flexible and rising to challenges are some of the attributes needed to be employable in modern working environments - because change is the only constant.”

UWTSD has taken a global lead on innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurship education. It has challenged many theories of business education and informed the international entrepreneurial community on approaches for engaging and enhancing creativity in an enterprise context. The University has spearheaded international efforts to find new ways of supporting students and to equip them for the 21st century working environment, where flexibility and adaptability will be key skills.

UWTSD has made enterprise a valuable and significant part of the educational curriculum and was the first University in the UK to offer a fully validated PGCE/PCET teacher training module in entrepreneurship education.

The institution works closely with Welsh and UK Governments and advises the European Commission and the United Nations on enterprise education policy. Professor Penaluna

recently co-authored a report calling for better entrepreneurial skills at all levels of education from primary school through to retirement.

In 2014, the University contributed to a major UK Government report, on behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Micro Businesses, which recognised the key role entrepreneurs play in the drive for growth, and which looked at the effectiveness of our education system in supporting our entrepreneurs. UWTSD has also made significant contributions to the Wilson Review of Business-University Collaboration and the Quality Assurance Agency's (QAA) Guidelines for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education.

In 2013, United Nations’ Chief of Entrepreneurship, Fiorina Mugione, chose UWTSD to support the UN’s Empretec programme, which inspires entrepreneurs in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

Professor Penaluna has received numerous awards for his work in this field including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion and the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs and the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative Enterprise Educators Award at the House of Lords.

Note to Editor

The International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurial Development is based at UWTSD’s Swansea campus. IICED is an international focal point which brings together a distinguished group of international experts in entrepreneurial education to engage in high-level discussions and to consider global perspectives that can impact, or have impacted, on policy-making. The Institute’s aim is to inform international best practice in enterprise, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial teaching, learning and evaluation.

Further Information

For more information please contact Steven Stokes, Principal Corporate Communications and PR Officer, on 01792 483695 / 07872 423788 or email steven.stokes@uwtsd.ac.uk.