Dr Richard Tunstall recently returned from Beijing, China where he was invited by the British Council to give a talk on behalf of the University of Leeds at the China-UK Innovation and Enterprise Education Forum. The forum’s main aim was to discuss challenges surrounding innovation and entrepreneurship education with a view to progressing policy thinking and practice.
The event was timely due to the call from the Chinese government to develop innovation and enterprise education across all Chinese universities and further education colleges as part of China’s economic development and growth policies. Speakers included high-level Chinese representatives from the Ministry of Education and the National Centre of Education Development Research.
Dr Richard Tunstall’s invited talk focussed on the multi-award winning student enterprise and innovation offering at the University of Leeds and the lessons that could be drawn from this experience for others. He explored the symbiotic relationship between curricular and extra-curricular activities, the role of institutional champions and how students, industry practitioners and university teachers are engaged as stakeholders. He emphasised the role of quality frameworks to benchmark activities and ensure consistency across this offering.
His presentation highlighted enterprise and innovation education as a multifaceted project that involves the whole institution whist recognising the differences in local contexts and goals for a sensitive approach in balancing the need for standards consistency and managing aspirations and goals.
This event was also an opportunity to meet representatives involved in innovation and entrepreneurship education at a number of Chinese universities to discuss ways for institutions to share best practice and create new opportunities for students.
Richard commented that “It was an honour to be invited by the British Council to speak at this full-house. There are clear shared challenges and aspirations between the UK and China in developing innovation and entrepreneurship education for students. The audience was well informed and it was exciting to hear about the innovations underway in education. There are a number of areas which will be very useful to explore for future projects and activities to benefit both countries and their Universities”.