The OECD has published a review of the state and quality of innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education in the Netherlands. We’re delighted that EDLAB is featured as a good example of an institution-wide approach to enhance innovation in education.
The report begins with the statement that “Investing in innovative and entrepreneurial HEIs is one of the highest return investments that we can make” – something which EDLAB supports fully! However, transforming traditional higher education institutions into innovative and entrepreneurial organizations is a complex task. This report offers a crucial overview and recommendations to help spread best practices effectively across the Netherlands and beyond.
EDLAB featured as a good example of how to approach innovation
Over the last few years, the HEInnovate panel visited several higher education institutions in the Netherlands, including Maastricht University. EDLAB is specifically recognized as a good example of an institution-wide approach to enhance innovation in education. The report recognizes the work that EDLAB does to bring together existing and new ideas on higher education and initiate projects and events that improve the quality of education across the whole university.
Crucially, this effort requires engagement at all levels – from teachers, researchers, managers, support staff and students. This means that innovation projects only take place once they have broad, faculty-wide input and approval – and the key role of our faculty liaisons was particularly highlighted.
Key best practices
After extensive research, the report offers a series of good practice statements which can help guide the strategy of higher education institutions, along with concrete factors which would enable institutions to achieve these statements. These include:
- There is a model in place for coordinating and integrating entrepreneurial activities across the HEI
- There is commitment at a high level to implementing the entrepreneurial agenda
- Entrepreneurial objectives are supported by a wide range of sustainable funding and investment sources
- The HEI invests in staff development to support its entrepreneurial agenda
- The HEI co-designs and delivers the curriculum with external stakeholders
- The HEI increases awareness of the value of entrepreneurship and stimulates the entrepreneurial intentions of students, graduates and staff to start up a business or venture
- Mentoring and other forms of personal development are offered by experienced individuals from academia or industry
- The HEI explicitly supports the international mobility of its staff and students
- International perspectives are reflected in the HEI’s approach to teaching
- The HEI regularly assesses the impact of its entrepreneurial agenda
- The HEI regularly assesses entrepreneurial teaching and learning across the institution
The European Commission and the OECD have joined forces to develop HEInnovate. It is a guiding framework for supporting entrepreneurship and innovation in higher education, to help governments and HEIs to identify areas for action. HEInnovate can be used by all types of higher education institutions, and is free, confidential and open to anyone to use.
The website offers an online self-assessment tool for higher education institutions, available in 24 languages, a series of country review assessments, and a Policy Learning Network that facilitates cross-country exchange and peer- learning amongst the countries participating in the country reviews.