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Entrepreneurial culture and innovation: challenges for the university of the 21st century

20/05/2011 - IE School of Arts and Humanities, Humanities, IE University, Junior Advisory Board

The university sector has to foster an entrepreneurial culture and encourage students to develop entrepreneurial initiative and seek innovation. Moreover, it has to equip students with the tools and skills they need to function in an increasingly competitive global and cosmopolitan market.

These are the main conclusions of the third meeting of IE’s International Junior Advisory Board, a committee comprised of twelve pre-university young people, all with an international profile and aged between 15 and 19. They met in Segovia and Madrid to debate the challenges facing university education and to make proposals based on how they would address said challenges. The members of the International Junior Advisory Board were selected using IE’s network of 23 international offices in 20 countries, and are from the Czech Republic,  Colombia, India, Jordan, Peru, Romania, Spain, Swaziland and the US.

The talented young members of the Board speak several different languages, are entrepreneurial and top-tier students in a range of disciplines. They are committed to humanistic values and social responsibility. They are international, practical, ambitious and, above all they represent a generation which, thanks to its commitment to excellence, innovation, human values and ethics, will not only bring improvements to IE University, but will also serve as leaders in tomorrow’s world.

According to this group of future leaders, the university of the 21st century has to be cosmopolitan and multicultural, and it needs to adapt its academic offerings to market realities. It also has to furnish students with the competences they are going to need to thrive in a global environment. In order to achieve this, higher education programs should address young people’s concerns, enabling and encouraging students to develop an entrepreneurial spirit, while acquiring skills with which to best meet professional challenges.

In the course of several practical workshops, the young board members also examined the importance of communication in university education and explored issues that included corporate social responsibility, the base of the pyramid model, and how universities can help students to launch their own businesses. They also highlighted the relevance of communication as an interdisciplinary subject in university education.

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