benchmarking of entrepreneurship education

IN selected EU & north-american countries




1.                  Project title:                RESEARCHES REGARDING THE HARMONIZATION OF THE                                                           ENTREPRENEURIAL EDUCATION OF ROMANIAN

                                                UNIVERSITIES TO THE EUROPEAN UNION AND EASTERN                                                  EUROPEAN UNIVERSITIES (EDARO)


2.         Purpose:                     To collect current practice in entrepreneurship education at the Romanian                                                universities as well as collect best practices and curriculums in                                                                 entrepreneurship education in the old, new and associated EU countries                                                    as well as in North-America in order to develop and establish an advance                                            similar education in the country too.


3.                   Project period:                        1 June 200731 November 2008


4.                  Implementing Agency:


(i)                  Faculty of Economics, Law and Administrative Sciences, Petru Maior University of          Targu-Muresh (Romania) and

(ii)                ERENET Entrepreneurship Research and Education Network of Central European          Universities


5.                  Responsible project officers:

                                                As. Prof. Zsuzsanna Katalin Szabó, Dean of Faculty of Economics, Law                                                  and Administrative Sciences, Petru Maior University of Targu-Muresh


6.         Project Committee:

                                          Prof. univ. Dr. ing. Liviu Marian, Rector of the Petru Maior University

                                          Associate Prof. Zsuzsanna Katalin Szabó, Dean of Faculty of Economics,                                          Law  and Administrative Sciences, Petru Maior University, and

                                          Dr. Antal Szabó, Scientific Director of ERENET





7.                  Description of project:


The objectives of the present project, elaborated by the academic staff of Management-Economics Department of Petru Maior University of Targu-Mures, are the same as the global objectives of CNCSIS contest 2007:  scientific research development in the process of human resources development. The research is oriented to an educational component which support the economy based on knowledge and innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainable development, elaboration and development of the research networks. The project wishes to gather information in the field of investigation and implementation of the entrepreneurial education in the Romanian universities, specialised institutions of Romania and European Union to create an international research network and to elaborate a project within the Programme Framework 7. The project proposes the study of the actual situation, definition of the context and parameters in which the entrepreneurial education should be performed, proposing curricula and specific pedagogical methods, to make the Romanian entrepreneurial education comparable to that from universities of European Union, USA and Canada, and making the students aware of the opportunities and feasibility of such an approach that can turn the knowledge and innovation to account. The project proposes the enlargement of the pedagogical and educational methods used within universities adding Long-Live -Learning, E-Learning, Learning by Doing, Student International workshops, modules of best practices etc.


8.                  Participating countries:


EU countries:                            France, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and UK

                                                (possible candidates still in progress)

Associated EU countries:           Croatia and Turkey

North-America:                         Canada and USA

Background of the Project


The entrepreneurial education begins early in the past, and the familiar framework represents an extremely influent human factor that a series of specialized papers mention as a determinant factor. Unfortunately, excepting Hungary (1974) and Poland (1980) that legislated the entrepreneurship, the other Eastern European countries, including Romania, can not profit by an initial, natural and challenging model, the nationalized and centralized system of the promoted economies reducing to zero the entrepreneurial capacities of the adult persons nowadays, which should be success models for youngsters.

According to David. Smallbone in “The Distinctions of Entrepreneurship in Transition Economies”r published in Small Business Economies 16 (2001), page 249-262, and Kluwer Academic Publisher Netherlands, neither the recent history of these countries can represent an authentic model for the entrepreneurship based on knowledge, over 40% of the Eastern European countries businesses representing “the translation of the already performing activities from the public sector, the identified type of entrepreneurship being a type of “nomenclature business”, with thousands of companies operating in a formal economy, with only one employee, part-time business, without any elements of innovation and value for client, in these companies the bureaucratic structures from the state sector being copied and respected just so”.

Fortunately, in 2002, the Ministry of Education and Research from Romania, also due to some international programmes which asked for these actions, introduced at the secondary school level the subject Entrepreneurial education. We can bring a series of criticisms related to the context, content and especially the individuals who are mandated to coordinate didactically and pedagogically this subject, but as a whole we have to note the positive aspects of this action that has to be improved and upgraded.

Unfortunately, within the Romanian higher education, despite the numerous internal political actions and the research found in the literature worldwide, there is paying only a reduced attention to the entrepreneurial education and there is no scientific approach of the formative actions at the university level so that the profession and the specific process of the Romanian entrepreneurship in the society based on knowledge can be carried out appropriately, efficiently and effectively.

The entrepreneurial education in universities already began in 1930 in Japan (1930), and later, in 1984 in the USA. Today its is the world leader with over 500 programmes (from 800 in the entire world) of entrepreneurial education which are applied in different universities.

In the last decade of the 20th Century, a series of countries Australia, Brazil, India, Southern Korea, England, Ireland, France, Germany, Holland, have started entrepreneurial education programmes at the university level, and following the transition to a market economy is has been started in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Baltic countries, Poland, Czech Republic.

Regarding the major role of entrepreneurial education in universities there are numerous papers (Franke, 2004) in article “Entrepreneurial Intentions of Business Students: A Benchmarking Study” published in International Journal of Innovation & Technology Management. “All over the world there are rapidly developing the businesses based on new technologies within the small and medium sized companies, area that needs technically specialized staff, with knowledge in the business domain, to manage the organizations and groups, so the formation education in the domain of entrepreneurship must be developed”.

In an article on “Impact of Entrepreneurship Education. A Comparative Study of the USA and Korea”, published in International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal (1) 2005, page 27-43, Springer-Science Inc, USA, the authors analyse the entrepreneurship in different national and organizational cultures, identifying the differences, interest and intentions to develop businesses at student groups level and the influence of some significant variables on the entrepreneurial education: motivation, education, knowledge, faith in own forces, abilities in creating and managing businesses, team work, etc. Two conclusions have to be pointed out from the above mentioned work: “…entrepreneurial education represents the trigger that motivates and impulsions business creation based on turning the knowledge to account, the important entrepreneurs have not grown instantly, they are the product of society and a national culture oriented towards entrepreneurship…”.

The entrepreneurial phenomenon, in all its complexity, is studied in most of the EU countries, in Asia, America and Australia, and the investigation results are presented in numerous papers, in prestigious international magazines. Accessing the portal with papers from all over the world, at key word „entrepreneurship” there can be accessed over 680 papers and at „entrepreneurial education” over 130 papers with brief or in detailed references to university entrepreneurial education.

The Romanian papers that approach entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial education are rare, there can be mentioned few researchers and academic staff with relevant results: O. Nicolescu, I. Abrudan, I. Mihut, C. Russu, L. Marian, a Ph.D. thesis written by S. Vaduva and a series of proceedings published in the volumes of national and international conferences of which we note the significant contribution of the researchers from the Petru Maior University of Targu-Mures.


Justification of the Project


            The Petru Maior University participates in the Project on Benchmarking of Business Incubation in Selected Central-Eastern European and Commonwealth of Independent States Countries by responsible persons, supervisors - Szabo Zsuzsanna and Daniela Stefanescu. This project was implemented in 2006. The project was implemented by ERENET Entrepreneurship Research and Education Network of Central European Universities and SINTEF The Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research at the Norwegian Institute of Technology through ENTRANSE programme.

            The Petru Maior University participate in the European Leonardo da Vinci Project on mobility for students and master degrees. The title of this project is Community Instruction in the Local Public Administration. This project is developing during 1 October 2004 and 15 June 2005. For the accomplishment of this project it was initiated a partnership between the “Petru Maior” University, the Town Hall from Targu – Mures, the Town Hall from Leverano (a city near Lecce, Italy) and the Romanian – Italian Association


Immediate objective


            The immediate objective of this project will be the analysis of the various university curricula and modalities of national entrepreneurship education at Bachelor, Master and Doctorandus levels fists of all at the universities and high-schools in Romania as well as in advanced European and American market economies. Study tours will be carried our in order to study relevant entrepreneurship education schemes and discussions will be held in form of international conferences to design the best suitable university entrepreneurship curricula for Romania. The findings, achievements and recommendations will also be published in order to have a wider dissemination effect.


Immediate Objective 1: Preparing Questionnaire on Entrepreneurship Curricula for Romania


            The Petru Maior University will prepare Questionnaire for benchmarking of entrepreneurship education curricula for Romania. This questionnaire will be sent to the Consortium of Technical Universities as well as to the Consortium of Economic Universities of Romania. Based on the responses to this questionnaire the Faculty of Economics, Juridical and Administrative Sciences will make an evaluation and benchmarking to establish the best Romanian practice.


Immediate Objective 2: Benchmarking of Best Practices in Europe and North-America


            The ERENET Network Secretary in cooperation with the Petru Maior University will prepare a TOR – Term of References – for consultancy services to make national studies on entrepreneurship education and curricula. The study should cover all tree levels of entrepreneurship education including bachelor, master and Doctorandus degrees.

            ERENET jointly with the Petru Maior University will select experts. National studies will be carried out based on agreement with the Petru Maior University.

Immediate Objective 3:  Development of Entrepreneurship Education Web-site


            The Petru Maior University will develop its web-site on entrepreneurship education web to be insert on the web-site of the Faculty of Economics at the Petru Maior University. ERENET will provide an input for designing the concept of this web. Major IT equipment for this task will be provided within the framework of the Project equipment allotment.


Immediate Objective 4:  Study tour and participation in entrepreneurship-oriented international events.


            Within the framework of the project study tour will be designed to make acquainted and visit leading university departments in selected EU countries. The Project management is envisaged to participate in relevant international events related to entrepreneurship and enterprise development. The Petru Maior team will collect and purchase relevant literature on entrepreneurship and enterprise development, which will serve as basis for the new entrepreneurship curricula.


Immediate Objective 5:  Organizing Workshop on Benchmarking of University Entrepreneurship Education and preparing publication


            The findings and national country studies will be presented and discussed within the framework of the 3rd ICELM Conference – ICELM is the abbreviation of the International Conference on Economics, Law and Management – to be held last week of May and first week of June 2008 at the Petru Maior University. The studies and proceeding of the Workshop will be published in form of hard copy.


Implementation strategy


            This project will be coordinated by As. Prof. Zsuzsanna Katalin Szabó, Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Juridical and Administrative Sciences at the Petru Maior University of Targu-Muresh (Romania) in cooperation with Dr. Antal Szabó, UN retired Regional Adviser on Entrepreneurship and SMEs, and Scientific Director of ERENET, in cooperation If you have any question please do not hesitate to contact Prof. Zsuzsanna Szabó by e-mail at or Dr. Antal Szabó by e-mail at


            ERENET Network through it comprehensive group of experts will assist in collecting data and best practices in national entrepreneurship education curricula and practice.


The address of the coordination Secretary at the Faculty of Economics, Juridical and Administrative Sciences is as following:

            As. Prof. Zsuzsanna Katalin Szabó, PhD

            Petru Maior University

            Faculty of Economics, Law and Administrative Sciences

            LIVEZENI nr. 69

            540088 Targu Muresh, Romania

            Phone/Fax: (+40-265) 219034