Theme(s): Information and communication
Universities of applied sciences have found that students and teachers do not know enough about the practices related to the recognition of prior competence in entrepreneurship and accreditation of entrepreneurship competence demonstrated in some other manner, business accelerator activities at higher education institutions, and entrepreneurship events and networks.
To this end, student activator activities have been developed to raise awareness on the topics. This is also based on the idea that the activities of an entrepreneurial higher education institution involve engaging and including students in different ways in the activities and development of the institution.
Student activators operate in several universities of applied sciences. Student activators work together in Tampere Universities (Tampere University and Tampere University of Applied Sciences). Business agents operate on the same principle also at Turku University of Applied Sciences.
The purpose of student activators and business agents is to inform other students and the entire higher education community about entrepreneurial issues, such as practices related to the recognition of (prior) learning and accreditation of learning demonstrated in some other manner.
The activators and agents also organise information events, sharing information to the others about opportunities for the accreditation of entrepreneurship competence demonstrated in some other manner, accelerator activities and entrepreneurship events, and promoting an entrepreneurial approach at the university through their own example. Student activators have, for example, facilitated the implementation of the Y Portfolio (Entrepreneurship Portfolio) at the University of Tampere (see Case 3 Y Portfolio).
Process of recognising (prior) learning / accrediting learning demonstrated in some other manner
Students can register as a student activator or a business agent by contacting a coach who will then discuss their goals and opportunities to act as activators and agents in their university. The teams of student activators and business agents are recruited every academic year, and an orientation is organised for the teams at the start of their activities. The activities are planned, developed and scheduled together.
In Tampere, students can earn 1–10 ECTS credits and in Turku, 1–5 ECTS credits. The student activators can also gain credit for their work through the Y Portfolio studies. Student activators may also receive a salary for their activities.
The assessment takes place on a scale of pass/fail. Competence and learning are compared against the student’s own learning goals and the achieved results.
An assessment given by the coach, self-assessment and peer review are used as a method of assessment. The student activators and business agents keep a reflective journal and a timesheet in which they record the hours and content of their activities, and assess their learning.
The study module is registered with the grade “pass” if the student has demonstrated independent, goal-oriented work towards achieving their own goals, set goals, worked to achieve them and assessed their progress quantitatively and qualitatively. The study module is registered with the grade “fail” if the student has not succeeded in planning and producing the learning process, or if they have not completed the objectives related to the study unit in such a way that they could independently describe their importance and functionality in terms of their own learning.
- Tampere Universities Y Campus: https://www.y-kampus.fi/en/
- Turku University of Applied Sciences Business Club: https://www.turkuamk.fi/fi/tyoelamapalvelut/palvelut/businessclub/ (page in Finnish)