Entrepreneurship Education and University Students' Entrepreneurial Intentions in Bangladesh

Entrepreneurship Education and University Students' Entrepreneurial Intentions in Bangladesh

Sheikh Md. Monzurul Huq (Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh), Sheikh Mohammed Rafiul Huque (Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh) and Md. Baktiar Rana (Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8798-1.ch013
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Abstract

A university plays a fundamental role in establishing and developing an entrepreneurial-oriented economy. The entrepreneurship education has been recognized very important which helps students to understand and foster entrepreneurial intention and attitude. The purpose of the present study is to examine entrepreneurship education and associated entrepreneurial intentions of students of public and private universities of Bangladesh. Few empirical studies done in Bangladesh have examined the entrepreneurial intentions of the university students. This study will fill the research gap in this respect. This study implies that university role, types of course programs influence attitude and intention and elevates the chances that students would eventually choose an entrepreneurial career. The findings of this study have policy implications in inducing more university graduates to start their own businesses.
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Introduction

There exists a noticeable unity regarding the significance of promoting entrepreneurship to encourage economic development, generation of employment and creating wealth in the developing countries of the world (Ahmed, 2013, Ahmed & Xavier, 2012). Policymakers and academic agree that entrepreneurship is vital to the development and well being of society (Shinnar, et al., 2009). Entrepreneurs create jobs and they drive and shape innovation. They actually speed up structural changes in the economy. The economic progress of a country largely depends upon the availability or growth of the number of entrepreneurs or people with entrepreneurial skills (Ray, 1988). In fact, entrepreneurship has been instrumental for transforming the world economy.

With the increasing number of higher education institutions in the country, Bangladesh experiences a phenomenal rise in the number of both public and private universities. At present there are 37 public and 80 private universities in the country1. Each year a large number of students obtain undergraduate and graduate degrees from these universities. According to a report published by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh in 2011 a total of 122,837 students studied Business Administration in the private universities of the country (UGC, 2012). On the other hand, a total of 859,826 students’ studies commerce/business related courses in the public universities (UGC, 2012). The majority of these students entered into the job market and many of them also remained unemployed. The graduate unemployment situation, generally, is a major issue in Bangladesh. Unemployment rate of young university graduates is four times higher than that of the young persons with primary level of education (26.1% and 6.0% respectively) (Hossain, 2014). Many students remain jobless for years and in such situation development of entrepreneurship endeavor may be an alternative economic activity for the unemployed graduates.

The economic advancement of a country largely depends upon the availability or development of the group of entrepreneurs or people with entrepreneurial skills. The contributions of entrepreneurship in society are many. Entrepreneurship development may assist in creating employment; augmenting productivity; restructuring and diversifying the economy; reducing market inefficiencies by making the marketplace more vibrant and competitive; improving the social circumstances of a country by harnessing latent talent and creating new markets (Ray, 1988). Studies observe that there exists a positive bearing of entrepreneurship education courses or programs in the universities on the feasibility of new venture initiation and also on start-up activity (Khayri, Yaghoubi & Yazdanpanah, 2011; Kerrick, 2008). It is imperative to note that higher education institutions of Bangladesh need to nurture the development of entrepreneurial skills among their students. Early exposure to entrepreneurial studies is essential element in developing successful entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship education may be defined as a compilation of formalized teaching which trains and educates anyone interested in business establishments (Jones & English, 2004). Several studies have revealed that the need of teaching entrepreneurial skills across university campuses as well as detecting and supporting the intentions to become an entrepreneur is an overriding issue for labor force (Kuratko & Hodgetts, 2004).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Entrepreneurial Intentions: Entrepreneurial intentions may be defined as a position to owning a business or becoming self-employed. Entrepreneurial intentions are also considered as personal orientations which might lead to venture creations.

Entrepreneurship Education: Entrepreneurship education is considered as a collection of formalized teachings that informs, educates, and trains anyone concerned in business establishment. Entrepreneurship education may also be defined as a pedagogical process which supports entrepreneurial activities, behaviors and outlook.

Role of the University: The position and purpose that a university possesses. The role of the university may be for example, communication of ideas. Universities play a functional role in promoting entrepreneurship education. It is generally considered that universities have a key role to play in augmenting entrepreneurship since educational institutions are ideally considered the place in shaping entrepreneurial aspirations among students.

Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship can be conceptualized as a route in which the individual displays innovativeness and risk-taking propensity in strategic decision making. Entrepreneurship is also defined as the process of starting a business.

Private University: A private university is owned and operated by the private sector. The private simply “means” that the university’s funding comes from tuition and investments.

Public University: A public university is a university which is mainly funded by public means through a national government. The largest universities (in terms of areal size of the campus) in Bangladesh are all public.

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