Producing work-ready graduates: the role of the entrepreneurial university
UK universities are having to come to terms with the double whammy of a 2010 Spending Review that will see budgets reduced from 7.1 pound billion to 4.2 pound billion by 2014, and the Browne Review of higher education funding and student finance, which argues that those who benefit (i.e. students) should make a far greater contribution to the cost than is currently required. Against this backdrop the authors seek to contribute to the graduate skills debate. They will demonstrate that delivering employment-ready graduates ignores the demands of a radically altered world of work in the face of the government's response to the latest economic crisis. While its primary focus is on the supply side (graduates) the authors are cognisant of the market research industry, which itself is facing external pressures to shift from a milieu of data gathering to a future of intelligent insight providers. We then go on to present the development of a new type of university, which has actively sought to reduce its dependency on traditional funding sources. Finally, we present a model of a research facility at one university that has successfully engaged with the local and regional business community to the benefit of its student workforce. In doing so, it has helped to develop over 70 graduate researchers, with entrepreneurial mindsets, who have all gone on to secure enterprising futures.