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Title: How academics in an engineering faculty at a newly formed university of technology perceive entrepreneurship
Authors: Esbach, Johan 
Keywords: Entrepreneurship;Engineering faculty;Cape Peninsula University of Technology;Academics
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship, Swinburne University of Technolog
Source: Esbach, J. (2007). How Academics in an Engineering Faculty at a newly formed University of Technology Perceive Entrepreneurship. In L. Murray Gillin (ed.). 4th International Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) Entrepreneurship Research Exchange, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, pp. 208-209
Abstract: This research examines the view that academics hold regarding the entrepreneurial perceptions of Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) students. In South Africa, the higher education challenges that students face seems enormous, the shortage of engineers continues to place a huge demand on Higher Educational Institutions (HEI) to deliver specialised skills also, the profound global technological change compounds the educational problems. This challenge is typical to a faculty structure, which by its definition suggests narrow focus and prescriptive activity. The entrepreneurial liberals in the engineering environment are arguing for an engineering school. Under the definition of 'school' there seems to be more room for effective diversification. Here the challenge is focused on the academic - industry relationship. A pushpull effect under threat from entrepreneurship simply because industry demands graduates with specialised technical skills while entrepreneurship produces graduates with both technical and non-technical skills. The dwindling engineering job market is evidence to the academic-industry relationship being out of sync with the national labour objective. SA industry is in a constant state of reengineering. This promotes engineering skills to immigrate hence increasing the demand for local specialised skills. This pressure is placed on the HEIs to deliver specialised technical skills. However, in the international skills market, the SA engineers are in demand because of their technical and non-technical ability. Entrepreneurship is not yet embraced in the SA economy often leading to decision-making processes which clearly the industry and academics in the engineering environment are not comfortable with. This research leads that in order to reverse the unemployment situation in South Africa; that HEIs interpret the balance between industry job creation and entrepreneurial wealth creation. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (Gem) reports that South African graduates have the potential to reverse the negative growth in the job market, by way of wealth creation and job creation. The environment for effective decision-making may still be non-existent and academics would do well to put in place the structures to effect choice. Academics in the engineering environment subscribe to 'one right answer' and are generally narrow focused. Entrepreneurship challenges the science of 'one right answer' causing mayhem amongst academics that understand their environment to be clearly defined. Entrepreneurship seems to be met with great resistance, and rightly so. Entrepreneurship within the engineering fraternity is vague and like project management, it challenges the role of industry and in some ways, develops new ones. To adopt entrepreneurship into the strong CPUT culture is not easy but the empirical data will highlight the view that academics hold regarding the importance of nurturing an entrepreneurial culture.
ISBN: 9780980332803
Appears in Collections:Eng - Conference Papers

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