A pioneering institute to inspire the UK’s next generation of entrepreneurs and shape national education policy on enterprise skills has been launched.
The Aldridge Institute for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship will develop innovative approaches to the teaching and learning of enterprise skills, and act as a national think tank lobbying government on how enterprise education can transform students’ futures and boost the economy.
UWE Bristol has formed a partnership with the Aldridge Foundation to run the institute, and Professor Gurpreet Jagpal has been appointed director of the institute, which has been established with an investment of £1.5 million.
Professor Jagpal, who has joined from London South Bank University, said the institute would change the face of education in the UK by transforming thinking on teaching and learning across schools, colleges and universities.
He said: “To solve the biggest challenges the world is facing, we need to think about educating our young people differently and breaking away from traditional teaching models. Enterprise education isn’t simply about creating the entrepreneurs of the future; it is focused on developing an enterprising mindset which gives students exposure to problem solving, risk taking and lateral thinking. This approach can equip the next generation of students with an enterprising mindset for life, for careers that don’t yet exist.
“The institute is truly ambitious in its goals and has the potential to have an enormous impact on the University and Aldridge students, the wider education sector, communities and industry. There’s real excitement around this project and I cannot wait to get started.”
Made up of a team of researchers and lecturers, the institute is based at the University’s new £55 million Bristol Business School building. Academics from across the Faculty of Business and Law will collaborate with the institute to strengthen its impact.
The institute will cement UWE Bristol’s position as a leading university for enterprise and entrepreneurship, building on the success of innovative degree programmes such as Team Entrepreneurship, its focus on employability, and investment in initiatives and facilities to support start-ups and SMEs including Launch Space and Future Space.
It will see enterprise embedded in the curriculum of all the University’s programmes by 2021, students encouraged to start their own business ventures on campus and world-class research produced to demonstrate the positive impact of enterprise education on young people.