Embedding enterprise and entrepreneurship into the bioscience curriculum

Page, Nigel (2021) Embedding enterprise and entrepreneurship into the bioscience curriculum. In: The University of Hull Learning and Teaching Conference 2021: Higher Education for the Common Good : Learning from COVID-19; 13-14 Jul 2021, Hull (Held online). (Unpublished)


Mismatches have been identified between STEM HE providers and employers, particularly in areas such as creativity, innovation and enterprise. A compounding factor for this deficit has been likely the fact much enterprise education for bioscience students has been traditionally delivered as generic extracurricular opportunities. To address such disparities in the biosciences at Kingston University, we initiated a strategy to not only enhance the delivery of enterprise directly within the curriculum, but to enable a much closer integration of our enterprise support services in helping embed contextualised enterprise activities. In doing so, we have created a core final year module that demonstrates the application of knowledge, theory and practice to current research, creativity and enterprise, and to the wider social and commercial context(e.g. the interrelationship with bioethics, regulatory matters, etc.). Directly integrated into the module are several broader university initiatives such as the university’s enterprise competition and hack centre, which have afforded students experiential learning and the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams. In addition, these initiatives have generated new opportunities for students to work directly with employers and professional bodies in exploring and solving real-world scenarios often based on real-life briefs. Paramount has been to link these activities with the programme/module learning outcomes and in ways that meets the criteria set by our PSRBs through appropriately aligned assessments/criteria. In this manner, we have been able to link assignments to the university’s enterprise competition and in ways that have led students to make competition entries, reflect and even become prize winners. We have also complimented our student initiatives with in-school training sessions to empower and equip staff with the necessary tools in delivering these enterprise education/activities. Overall, embedding enterprise has provided opportunities for our students to develop their creativity and innovation skills, work in teams and gain greater commercial awareness. Moreover, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been able to continue these initiatives and take advantage of the new online world to advance new ways of working (e.g.in breakout rooms) and to engage with employers differently. This presentation will share some of our experiences in developing, delivering and reflecting on the development of a bioscience research and enterprise module.

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