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Enterprise and entrepreneurship in English higher education: 2010 and beyond

David Rae (Lincoln Business School, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK)
Lynn Martin (Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Valerie Antcliff (Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Paul Hannon (National Centre for Entrepreneurship Education, Coventry, UK)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 3 August 2012



This article aims to report the results of a complete survey of enterprise education in all higher education institutions (HEIs) in England, undertaken in 2010 by the Institute for Small Business & Entrepreneurship (ISBE) on behalf of the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship (NCGE). The survey builds on prior work undertaken by the NCGE in England in 2006 and in 2007.


The survey aimed to establish a complete picture of curricular and extra‐curricular enterprise and entrepreneurship education. The survey uses a similar structure to the previous survey, enabling comparison to be made with enterprise provision over the 2006‐2010 period, as well as with the 2008 European survey of entrepreneurship in HE.


The results provide a stock‐take of enterprise education provision in participating HEIs and highlight the connections in institutional strategies between enterprise education, incubation/new venture support, graduate employability, innovation and academic enterprise. The paper reveals “hotspots” and gaps in enterprise provision and offers “benchmarks” for the sector.

Research limitations/implications

The article offers a summary of the implications for the future development and sustainability of enterprise education in HE, in relation to policy, funding and other changes in the sector. It also considers these issues in relation to recommendations from professional educators and government policy for future development of enterprise in HE and comments on the policy impact of this work.


The timing of the survey, in May‐July 2010, was important as it reflected the end of a period of over ten years of sustained investment in enterprise in higher education by the previous Labour government in the UK, through a range of funding initiatives. As major public expenditure reductions in support for HE and enterprise activity followed, this represented the “high water mark” of publicly funded enterprise activity in the HE sector, and raised the question of how enterprise education and support activities would become sustainable for the future. The report analyses existing provision, assesses its development over the 2006‐2010 period, and provides conclusions and recommendations covering future policy, development, resourcing, and sustainability of enterprise and entrepreneurship provision in higher education.



Rae, D., Martin, L., Antcliff, V. and Hannon, P. (2012), "Enterprise and entrepreneurship in English higher education: 2010 and beyond", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 380-401.



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