The aim of the current report is to record, analyse and interpret the learning experiences gained and the impact of experimentation with the innovation laboratories for academics and students as well as enterprises and third sector organizations. Particular emphasis is placed on comparing the experience of the five universities in Belarus and Ukraine.
The experimentation is based on introducing open innovation approach in entrepreneurship education through the innovation of entrepreneurship education courses/ programmes and teaching methods that connect theoretical teaching with practical life, enabling students to acquire practical experiences by solving real problems of enterprises. The report incorporates two main focuses:
- the analysis of students’ opinions in terms of career choice motivators, development of competences, and sources of knowledge and innovation before and after the experiment (incl two phases of experiment, and comparison);
- the analysis of the impact of experimentation for the academic staff and cooperation with enterprises and other stakeholders.
The importance of enterprise education as part of curricula at all levels of education has been widely recognised in many countries due to the need to develop entrepreneurial skills of students and contribute to new business creation, but also to the employability of young people. The development of entrepreneurship education process is relying on four important elements: individuals, content, techniques and context, using regional innovation platforms and Innolabs in partner universities that support the cooperation between university and enterprises, and create a network of entrepreneurs and mentors that contributes to the enterprise education and entrepreneurial ecosystem in regions.
The experimentation with new entrepreneurship and innovation learning processes (incl modules of “open innovation”, “creative thinking” and “ideas market”) and studies among students and teachers were carried out in two phases in 2014: spring semester (Experiment 1) and autumn semester (Experiment 2). New modules were developed in nearly 35 courses of economics, entrepreneurship, innovation and management. For achieving the project purposes five partner universities were involved into the study: National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”, National Technical University “Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute” and Uzhhorod National University in Ukraine and Yanka Kupala State university of Grodno and Polotsk State University in Belarus. All together nearly 800 students at 2 study levels (bachelor and master) and in almost 20 specialities were contacted during the experimentation in different regions of Belarus and Ukraine.
The analysis of students’ opinions in terms of career choice motivators, development of competences, and knowledge and innovation before and after the experiment is carried out by country, region, study level and speciality. The analysis of the impact of experimentation on students’ attitudes and entrepreneurial behaviour is conducted on the basis of the responses of 623 students. First the two experiments are analysed separately by looking at the change within one experiment (before and after the experiment results). Then, in the comparisons section the countries and the two experiments are compared. And after that the two experiments are merged together and change in students’ opinions is analysed based on a larger sample of students (two experiments combined).