Original Research

Contextual factors influencing entrepreneurship education at a South African University of Technology

Kariema Price, Linda Ronnie
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 13, No 1 | a394 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v13i1.394 | © 2021 Kariema Price, Linda Ronnie | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 January 2021 | Published: 30 September 2021

About the author(s)

Kariema Price, Graduate School of Business, Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Linda Ronnie, School of Management Studies, Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Entrepreneurship education (EE) occupies a particularly critical space in the development strategies of emerging market countries where entrepreneurs and small businesses are required to drive economic growth and job creation. In South Africa, universities of technology (UoT), which provide vocation-focussed tertiary education, are considered vital vehicles of EE.

Aim: Institutions and educators are challenged by the limited research around EE content and pedagogy, particularly outside of the business school context. This study seeks to address these research gaps within the South African economic context by examining EE courses at a UoT.

Setting: This study examined 14 entrepreneurship courses offered across 11 disciplines at one South African UoT.

Methods: A qualitative study consisting of semi-structured interviews with 10 educators was conducted to explore how they design and deliver their EE courses.

Results: The study found three contextual factors that influence the way educators design and deliver EE courses: (1) the needs of the student: the systemic nature of their experiences, (2) the quality of teaching materials: the limited relevance of the content, and (3) the background of the educators: their experience with entrepreneurship and industry.

Conclusion: In examining these key contextual factors, this study highlights the challenges that locally higher education institutions face in designing the courses that are effective at promoting entrepreneurship locally. It also showcases the prominent role that educators play in solving problems, addressing challenges, and ensuring that EE contributes to a broader economic agenda by bringing their own passion, educational expertise, and practical knowledge to the classroom.


Keywords

entrepreneurship education; entrepreneurship; educators; higher education; University of Technology

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