Norway was among the first countries to present a national strategy for entrepreneurship in education and training. In 2004, the Government believed it to be important to implement training in entrepreneurship throughout the country, adapted to local and regional challenges, using existing workplaces as learning contexts. The first strategic plan, “See the Opportunities and Make them Work – strategy for entrepreneurship in education and training” was launched in 2004 and revised in 2006. The target group was primarily those who are responsible for education at all levels from primary school to college/university. Various stakeholders, who support entrepreneurship in their sectors, could use this strategy plan as a comprehensive plan and overview of the work carried out on entrepreneurship in the educational system.
The plan was evaluated in 2008 and the results of the evaluation showed a major increase in the number of students involved in entrepreneurship education. The recommendations for further work with entrepreneurship in the educational system based on the evaluation were summarised in nine points. Based on feedback from the informants, and previous research and statistics, the following recommendations were put forward for the continued work with entrepreneurship in education:
A new action plan was launched in 2008 with a main focus on higher education. One of the conclusions in the evaluation of this plan is that due to such focus, it is not surprising that few measures are directed at lower and upper secondary education and that the plan therefor represented little change for this sector. This limited focus on measures directed at secondary education is in contrast to the recommendations based upon the evaluation of the previous action plan. The 2008-report pointed out the need for strengthening entrepreneurship competency with teachers and school administrators and embedding entrepreneurship with school owners.
The evaluation of the 2008 – 2014 plan provides a summary of the status of entrepreneurship training and the challenges in the years to come. One important part of the project was to evaluate the Government’s action plan for entrepreneurship in education and training and assess it as a political instrument, and provide input on how further work on entrepreneurship training should be followed up. The purpose of the evaluation was to conduct various studies of what entrepreneurship training is, the scope of such training in lower and upper secondary education and higher education, and its effects in achieving learning objectives.
The action plan has played an important role in putting entrepreneurship on the agenda and has contributed to further development and dissemination of training. The action plan mainly includes relevant measures, and most of these have been followed up in a good manner. At the same time, entrepreneurship training is a diverse and demanding field. There are a number of challenges associated with the further work, both in higher education and lower and upper secondary education. These challenges have been addressed in the different sub-studies of the project.
One of the main conclusions is that it is important to continue the work on entrepreneurship training. The situations are quite different in secondary education and higher education. The two sectors should therefore be approached with different strategies.
In the research project, they based their work on a definition of entrepreneurship education that distinguishes between three different approaches, namely education about entrepreneurship, education for entrepreneurship and education through entrepreneurship. Whereas the approach with education about entrepreneurship entails learning about entrepreneurship as a societal phenomenon, the approach with education for entrepreneurship involves education and training to develop knowledge and skills that provide a basis for starting and running a company. The third approach – education through entrepreneurship – involves using entrepreneurial processes as tools to achieve certain learning objectives. Participation in an (entrepreneurial) process is the focus of this approach, and it is most appropriate to characterise the approach as a pedagogical method.
It may be perceived as a weakness in the action plan that it exaggerates a broad, general pedagogical approach on one hand, while omitting an important aspect of entrepreneurship training by not including education about entrepreneurship on the other.
A key finding in the mapping is that there are few courses in entrepreneurship in pedagogical subjects and initial teacher education. Moreover, there has been a substantial decline in recent years in spite of the action plan's goal to strengthen courses in initial teacher education.
Attachments can be found here:
- The 2004-2008 plan & The Executive Summary of the evaluation of the 2004-2008 plan
- The 2009 – 2014 plan & the Executive Summary of the 2008-2014 plan evaluation