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#FeesMustFall can shape a new campaign for Entrepreneurial Universities

#FeesMustFall can shape a new campaign for Entrepreneurial Universities

On #FeesMustFall, I think universities and colleges should build university businesses and allow their students to run institution owned businesses to generate revenue that can go towards supporting the Free Education as demanded by the majority populace.

By so doing, the participating university or college will be affording amateur and would-be startup creators (entrepreneurs) an opportunity to learn on the job while contributing to the future of our country.

I believe that universities and colleges can be important feeders of entrepreneurial communities. We can build more entrepreneurial campuses by ensuring that entrepreneurship is embedded into institutional governance, roles and structures, curriculum and programming, extracurricular activities, and external relations efforts and by incentivizing efforts through the provision of resources, ratings and recognition.

While South African colleges and universities have different roles to play in society, they both need to continue to reimagine and reinvent themselves as feeders of the entrepreneurial community, magnets for entrepreneurial talent, and a pipeline for talent back into the community. The challenge, however, is that entrepreneurial engagement is not rewarded, there’s a lack of resources for entrepreneurial programs, and cross-campus collaboration is not in the DNA of most institutions.

Entrepreneurship needs to be a campus-wide experience with an understanding that some things cannot be taught traditionally and must be learned by doing. From explicitly citing entrepreneurial values and objectives as institutional policy to cultivating entrepreneurial awareness and culture in employees, faculty and student networks and altering traditional pedagogies to employ experiential learning techniques, building more entrepreneurial colleges and universities requires an overall effort, whereby entrepreneurship is embedded into the governance, roles and institutions, curriculum and programming, extracurricular programming and external relations and liaison.

Competition may help to advance the entrepreneurial ambitions of South African campuses. The stakes for developing an entrepreneurial campus can be altered through a standardized maturity model for entrepreneurial higher education institutions to measure and benchmark the state of entrepreneurship within each institution, develop strategies for advancement, measure progress through standardized external audit and evaluations, and comparatively rank the entrepreneurial culture, structures, outputs and activities. In this way, we could alter the incentive structure to match the focus of basic research and learning to industry relevance, innovation and commercialization. Students would be able to make informed decisions as to which university to attend based on national entrepreneurial rankings.

By having more entrepreneurial campus with student entrepreneurs doing what they love, they will continue to change the world through innovation and trust me, they will HELP in making the FEES TO FALL.

I think we should then start a conversation of how entrepreneurs can contribute in educating South Africa.

Sandile Shabangu

Entrepreneur on a mission to make a positive societal contribution.

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