Adult Education Academy

    Group 1

    Comparative Group 1: Entrepreneurship in Higher Education for the development of innovation and creative thinking

    Entrepreneurship, Creativity, Innovation, Skills

    Technological changes and innovation trends are quickly sharping jobs and professions. Industry 4.0 paradigm is transforming the role of workers within the organization. This has an impact on people’s role in work, especially for young adults who will navigate different transitions during their professional life. Which is the added value of the humans in a technological world? Many studies highlight the relevance of creativity and entrepreneurial mindset to be able to catch opportunities generating new ideas and values for the society, community and economy (Boffo, 2018). In this sense, entrepreneurship is emerging as an educational concept that could support students’ growth to face new challenges today and in the future.

    The idea of developing entrepreneurship into Higher Education pathways has generated many different programs in the last few decades. A myriad of effects has been stated to result from this, such as economic growth, job creation and increased societal resilience, but also individual growth, increased educational engagement and improved equality (Lackéus, 2015). The topic refers to a great variety of meanings, from a narrow definition that leads to start up creation to a broader one aimed to make students more creative, proactive, opportunity oriented and innovative (Bacigalupo, Kampylis, Punie, Van den Brande, 2016).

    Starting from a theoretical analysis of definitions, the comparative group will focus on three levels: the macro level of policies and measures to bolster entrepreneurship education in Higher Education; the meso level of educational programs implement in universities; the micro level of tools and methods to support the development of innovation and creative thinking (Terzaroli, 2018). 

    Comparative research question 

    1. What are the policies and laws for entrepreneurship education that influence strategies in higher education in your country?

    2. Which programmes have been implemented at your home university for entrepreneurship education?

    Context of comparison

    The comparison will deal with the programs and activities that Universities implement to bolster innovation and creativity through entrepreneurship education. These will be studied with a pedagogical perspective and students will be asked to answer to some questions in order to understand if the comparison is possible. 

    Role of practitioners

    Practitioners will be asked to broaden the international perspective on entrepreneurship, presenting projects and experiences for developing adults’ innovation and creativity. 

    Categories of comparison  

    (selection for the transnational essay is based on participants research interests)

    1. The definition of entrepreneurship will be considered as a standpoint for theoretical reflection.

    2. Entrepreneurship education programs will be considered a category since they are very important from a pedagogical point of view for the study of the dynamic processes for innovation and creativity.

    3. Educational tools and methods used in university entrepreneurship education programs will be considered a category to analyse the way to support innovation and creativity for young people. 


    Lackéus, M. (2015). Entrepreneurship in Education: What, Why, When, How. Paris: OECD.

    Bacigalupo, M., Kampylis, P., Punie, Y., Van den Brande, G. (2016). EntreComp: The Entrepreneurship Competence Framework. Luxembourg: Publication Office of the European Union; EUR 27939 EN; doi:10.2791/593884.

    Boffo, V. (2018). To continue to discuss about entrepreneurship, EPALE Journal, 4/2018, pp. 6-10.

    Terzaroli, C. (2018). Developing entrepreneurship through Design Thinking, EPALE Journal, 3/2018, pp. 20-24.

    Prof. Vanna Boffo, University of Florence, Italy

    Prof. Dr. Vanna Boffo, University of Florence, is working as Associate Professor in General Pedagogy and Adult Education at the Department of Education and Psychology of the University of Florence (since 1/11/2014). She is Rector’s Delegate for Job Placement (since 1/11/2015). She is called as Full Professor in General and Social Pedagogy from March 2019 and she is waiting the formalization of the University of Florence. Vanna Boffo has a broad experience in three main field of research that are training for and in the workplace, work pedagogy, pedagogical care, professional educational roles and care of the human person. She is Coordinator of the European Master in Adult education for the Italian Universities from September 2012. She is the Coordinator of the PhD Course in “Educational Sciences and Psychology” at the University of Florence.




    Co-Moderation: Dr. Nicoletta Tomei, University of Florence, Italy

    Dr. Nicoletta Tomei did her PhD at the University of Florence, Italy. Since 2018 she is working as a teacher at a high school.