Entrepreneurship Education in Post-Soviet Higher Education Systems: Moving into or Resisting Global Entrepreneurial Culture
The universal “promise of entrepreneurship” has gone far beyond the borders of countries where it emerged. Education systems might play an important role in this process by legitimizing entrepreneurship related myths, principles, and social hierarchies. Surprisingly, against the literature on the role of education in producing and allocating human capital, entrepreneurship education development on organizational, national, and global scale is only emerging as a theme of mainstream academic discussions. This paper applies multi-level approach to get insights on what role might higher education have in promot- ing global “entrepreneurial culture,” with a focus on post-Soviet countries. We analyze supra-national initiatives, national policies, leading universities’ practices, and the actual characteristics of entrepreneurship education programs in these universities. Our results suggest that drivers of entrepreneurship education development in national higher education systems of post-Soviet countries are not only the “concrete” and “technical” institutional factors on the national level, but also the broader cultural environment. Though institutional environment in post-Soviet countries does not always objectively meet high international standards we found many cases when official policy docu- ments state goals related to teaching entrepreneurship in higher education and there are concrete programs devoted to entrepreneurship education sharing largely similar “entrepreneurial” worldviews. We also found that the actual perceptions and strategies of the actors directly involved in entrepreneurship education practices demonstrate much higher similarity than formally declared education policies in the related countries.