Additional information: HEInnovate assessment tool is not a benchmarking tool. It can be used by individuals or by groups of people. The group function allows stakeholders in higher education institutions to come together and compare their assessments internally, compare against previous assessments as well as see how perceptions change over time.
The Seven Dimensions of HEInnovate:
Leadership and Governance
Strong leadership and good governance are crucial to developing an entrepreneurial and innovative culture within an HEI. Many HEIs include the words ‘enterprise’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ in their mission statements, but in an entrepreneurial institution this is more than a reference. This section highlights some of the important factors an HEI may consider in order to strengthen its entrepreneurial agenda.
- Entrepreneurship is a major part of the HEI’s strategy.
- There is commitment at a high level to implementing the entrepreneurial agenda.
- There is a model in place for coordinating and integrating entrepreneurial activities across the HEI.
- The HEI encourages and supports faculties and units to act entrepreneurially.
- The HEI is a driving force for entrepreneurship and innovation in regional, social and community development.
Organisational Capacity: Funding, People and Incentives
The organisational capacity of an HEI drives its ability to deliver on its strategy. If an HEI is committed to carrying out entrepreneurial activities to support its strategic objectives, then key resources such as funding and investments, people, expertise and knowledge, and incentive systems need to be in place to sustain and grow its capacity for entrepreneurship.
- Entrepreneurial objectives are supported by a wide range of sustainable funding and investment sources.
- The HEI has the capacity and culture to build new relationships and synergies across the institution.
- The HEI is open to engaging and recruiting individuals with entrepreneurial attitudes, behaviour and experience.
- The HEI invests in staff development to support its entrepreneurial agenda.
- Incentives and rewards are given to staff who actively support the entrepreneurial agenda.
Entrepreneurial Teaching and Learning
Entrepreneurial teaching and learning involves exploring innovative teaching methods and finding ways to stimulate entrepreneurial mindsets. It is not just learning about entrepreneurship, it is also about being exposed to entrepreneurial experiences and acquiring the skills and competences for developing entrepreneurial mindsets.
- The HEI provides diverse formal learning opportunities to develop entrepreneurial mindsets and skills.
- The HEI provides diverse informal learning opportunities and experiences to stimulate the development of entrepreneurial mindsets and skills.
- The HEI validates entrepreneurial learning outcomes which drives the design and execution of the entrepreneurial curriculum.
- The HEI co-designs and delivers the curriculum with external stakeholders.
- Results of entrepreneurship research are integrated into the entrepreneurial education offer.
Preparing and Supporting Entrepreneurs
HEIs can help students, graduates and staff consider starting a business as a career option. At the outset it is important to help individuals reflect on the commercial, social, environmental or lifestyle objectives related to their entrepreneurial aspirations and intentions. For those who decide to proceed to start a business, or other type of venture, targeted assistance can then be offered in generating, evaluating and acting upon the idea, building the skills necessary for successful entrepreneurship, and importantly finding relevant team members and getting access to appropriate finance and effective networks. In offering such support, an HEI should ideally act as part of a wider business support ecosystem rather than operating in isolation.
- The HEI increases awareness of the value of entrepreneurship and stimulates the entrepreneurial intentions of students, graduates and staff to start-up a business or venture.
- The HEI supports its students, graduates and staff to move from idea generation to business creation.
- Training is offered to assist students, graduates and staff in starting, running and growing a business.
- Mentoring and other forms of personal development are offered by experienced individuals from academia or industry.
- The HEI facilitates access to financing for its entrepreneurs.
- The HEI offers or facilitates access to business incubation.
Knowledge Exchange and Collaboration
Knowledge exchange is an important catalyst for organisational innovation, the advancement of teaching and research, and local development. It is a continuous process which includes the ‘third mission’ of an HEI, defined as the stimulation and direct application and exploitation of knowledge for the benefit of the social, cultural and economic development of society. The motivation for increased collaboration and knowledge exchange is to create value for the HEI and society.
- The HEI is committed to collaboration and knowledge exchange with industry, the public sector and society.
- The HEI demonstrates active involvement in partnerships and relationships with a wide range of stakeholders.
- The HEI has strong links with incubators, science parks and other external initiatives.
- The HEI provides opportunities for staff and students to take part in innovative activities with business / the external environment.
- The HEI integrates research, education and industry (wider community) activities to exploit new knowledge.
The Internationalised Institution
Internationalisation is the process of integrating an international or global dimension into the design and delivery of education, research, and knowledge exchange. Internationalisation is not an end in itself, but a vehicle for change and improvement. It introduces alternative ways of thinking, questions traditional teaching methods, and opens up governance and management to external stakeholders. Therefore, it is linked very strongly to being entrepreneurial. It is not possible for an HEI to be entrepreneurial without being international, but the HEI can be international without being entrepreneurial or innovative.
- Internationalisation is an integral part of the HEI’s entrepreneurial agenda.
- The HEI explicitly supports the international mobility of its staff and students.
- The HEI seeks and attracts international and entrepreneurial staff.
- International perspectives are reflected in the HEI’s approach to teaching.
- The international dimension is reflected in the HEI’s approach to research.
Entrepreneurial/innovative higher education institutions need to understand the impact of the changes they bring about in their institution. The concept of an entrepreneurial/innovative HEI combines institutional self-perception, external reflection and an evidence-based approach. However, impact measurement in HEIs remains underdeveloped. The current measurements typically focus on the quantity of spin-offs, the volume and quality of intellectual property generation and research income generation, rather than graduate entrepreneurship, teaching and learning outcomes, retaining talent, the contribution to local economic development or the impact of the broader entrepreneurial agenda. This section identifies the areas where an institution might measure impact.
- The HEI regularly assesses the impact of its entrepreneurial agenda.
- The HEI regularly assesses how its personnel and resources support its entrepreneurial agenda.
- The HEI regularly assesses entrepreneurial teaching and learning across the institution.
- The HEI regularly assesses the impact of start-up support.
- The HEI regularly assesses knowledge exchange and collaboration.
- The HEI regularly assesses the institution's international activities in relation to its entrepreneurial agenda.