Scots join hands for innovation

October 12, 2001

Glasgow University this week launched an MSc in entrepreneurship, funded through the Scottish Institute for Enterprise, which aims to embed an entrepreneurial spirit in higher education.

Glasgow set a target of ten to 15 students, but has attracted 20 for the taught course, which includes a work placement.

But David Logan, Glasgow's director of enterprise and entrepreneurship, is not complacent, particularly as half the students are from overseas. He wants more home students to become aware of the advantages of business management training.

"There is still a lot to do in terms of student attitudes. We are using this modular programme to develop both our postgraduate and undergraduate strategy.

"How do we get better candidates sooner and encourage them to think of (entrepreneurship) as one dimension of their career?" The MSc includes the basics of small-business development, an insight into how entrepreneurs and innovators think, e-commerce and internationalisation.

Mr Logan said graduates would not necessarily set up their own small business but would boost their job opportunities because large companies were increasingly seeking entrepreneurial employees.

The SIE is expanding thanks to a £2 million award from the Office of Science and Technology.

Until now, it has involved Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt and Strathclyde universities, promoting collaboration between institutions and with businesses. It will extend its reach to all 13 Scottish universities.

Carl Togneri, director of the SIE, said: "There is a belief that if we are to create enterprising science and technology students, this should be inclusive."

He added: "The expertise we've got is spread very thin, and the major function of the SIE is to try to bring us together more. Hopefully, I can go to other universities and say: 'Can you do a couple of lectures for me?' It's a very practical, pragmatic approach."

More than 17,000 science and technology students across Scotland stand to benefit from SIE initiatives each year. Mr Togneri said a key development was accredited web-based modules for science and technology students, created by experts in the five founder universities.

Business experts at the eight universities joining the SIE will be involved in creating more modules.

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