Regional Growth and Entrepreneurial Diversity in Sweden
Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Charlotte Silander and Daniel Silander
Chapter 10: Political entrepreneurs, higher education and young entrepreneurship
In the international research community, there is an ongoing discussion about whether university education in entrepreneurship actually causes increased entrepreneurship, that is, if young students will bring new entrepreneurial skills and innovations to the working field. From the political side, particularly in countries where the universities are mostly state universities, as in most European countries, there is also an expectation that universities will contribute to entrepreneurship and economic growth in the surrounding region. In the case of Sweden, the assumption has been that universities/colleges are supposed to be regional driving forces for entrepreneurship. One of the aims behind the expansion of the number of universities across the country in the 1990s was to strengthen regional competitiveness, including the ambition to stimulate economic growth. Since then, the role of universities, as contributing to entrepreneurship and regional growth, has been problematized. So far, no empirical studies have indicated the role of the university as an exclusively successful regional driving force and no one has really concluded that universities have been successful in bringing together innovation and the ability of young students to become entrepreneurial after graduation. This chapter explores the idea of the entrepreneurial university.
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