Towards an Entrepreneurial University

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Towards an Entrepreneurial
University
d i n o a r nau t
Master’s Student at the University of Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina t h e t r a n s f o r m at i o n of a traditional research university into an entrepreneurial university is a current phenomenon, and the number of such transformations is increasing due to the reduction in the university funding from government sources and the emergence of a competitive market for education and research. If universities do not become agents of innovation, i. e. entrepreneurial universities, they will hamper regional and national development as well as international competitiveness. The University of Zenica is still a teaching university, but creating an entrepreneurial university is vital to achieve sustainable economic growth in this region. The overall goal of this paper is to highlight the importance of an entrepreneurial university and to analyse current characteristics of the University of Zenica. This paper presents the identification of what is necessary to become an entrepreneurial university and answers the question how to implement transformations in order to become an entrepreneurial university; in addition, it presents the identification of possibilities and obstacles during such a transformation.

i n t ro d u c t i o n
Universities have been struggling with different issues over the past ten years, such as the Bologna process, globalization and internationalization of higher education, rising number of the student population, financial restrictions and the recent financial and economic crisis. The main question for universities today is how to adapt to the dynamic and ever-changing environment.

The potential and real contributions of universities to economic development have long been discussed and much has been written over the past decade about the concept of the entrepreneurial university. Drawing from the u s and European literature and experience (Clark 2004) it can be argued that Universities are entrepreneurial when they vo lu me 3 | number 1

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are unafraid to maximise the potential for commercialisation of their ideas and create value in society, and do not see this as a significant threat to academic values. Behind this lies recognition of the need for a diversified funding base involving raising a high percentage of their income from non-public sources. A new approach has emerged focusing on promoting the spill-over of knowledge through an entrepreneurial university. Integrating a university’s mission for economic and social development urges universities towards transformation of traditional teaching, and research universities towards entrepreneurial universities. There is now a considerable international literature addressing the notion of what has been termed the entrepreneurial university (Gibb, Haskins, and Robertson 2009). The entrepreneurial university concept embraces universities of all types including those with a strong research tradition as well as newer organisations. The literature, both academic and pragmatic policy-oriented, ranges over a wide range of issues including (Gibb, Haskins, and Robertson 2009, 3): •













The basic philosophical idea of a university and how this is changing over time and the culture of the university;
Commercialisation of university know-how;
Process of technology transfer and exchange;
The associated closer engagement of the university with industry and indeed stakeholders of all kinds; The movement towards a Triple Helix model of partnership between government, industry and higher education; The employability and skills development agenda of graduates and their preparation for a global labour market;

The strategic response to the massification of demand for higher education;
The internationalisation of universities and their strategies for dealing with global competition (both opportunities and
threats);
The changing nature of the knowledge society and the...
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