The development of entrepreneurial universities in Ukraine

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №4 - 2012

Romanovskii A., Ukrainian-American Humanitarian (Liberal Arts) Institute “Wisconsin International University (USA) Ukraine”, Ukraine
Romanovskaya Y., National Pedagogical University in honor of M. Dragomanov, Ukraine

The meaning of the term “entrepreneurial” lies in conscious effort directed toward the construction and development of an organization, which presupposes not only hard work but also a special approach to the task. Not being afraid of taking risks when the outcome is unknown is one of the main principles of this approach, and is also the key to success. An entrepreneurial university actively looks for new opportunities and ways of accomplishing even its major functions. Such a university attempts implementation of meaningful organizational changes in order to create a better future. Entrepreneurial universities want to be different from others and act according to their own rules. Earlier, the term “entrepreneurial” and the term “innovative” were used interchangeably and were considered as synonyms. The concept of an “innovative” university is more attractive – it is gentler in comparison with an “entrepreneurial” university and it lets viewing entrepreneurial activity of a university as a new type of activity. The concept of an innovative university helps reducing and abolishing that negative attitude which most of representatives of academia have toward entrepreneurs, (they view them as aggressive business people who are profit-oriented only). The entrepreneurial-innovative transformation of a higher education establishment is not a one-time event and does not happen by chance or when one entrepreneur ceases organizational power to rule over the organization (this would be an exception to the rule). If this happens, such an individual encounters enormous all-level opposition, which ultimately leads to the failure of his endeavor.

The real transformation takes place when a group of people in every university unit introduces innovative changes during a number of years, which changes the structure and orientation of this educational establishment. Collective entrepreneurial activity on the basic university levels is at the heart of the transformation phenomena [2-4]. Project oriented universities are also of great interest and are quite promising [1; 6].

Many higher educational establishments all over the world are undergoing significant transformation with the aim of establishing themselves as entrepreneurial universities. The causes of this transformation are as follows: the cutback in state financial support, increasing competition in the education market, diminishing of the state control over university activity, the loss of competitiveness of numerous higher education establishments, reduction in the number of prospective students and so on. Entrepreneurial activity can significantly improve this situation, which is why discussing the issue of the development of entrepreneurial universities is so important. It is especially important in Ukraine, as Ukrainian higher education establishments need to find ways to deal with the mentioned above factors, which are especially pronounced in the country.

The aim of the paper. Entrepreneurship may be an important part of the activity of any higher education establishment, as it aims improvement of the financial state of the university, widening of the spectrum of the services it provides, and formation of the corporate entrepreneurial culture of the university. Recent research has shown impressive results achieved by entrepreneurial universities abroad, such as improvement of the quality of their research activity as well as of educational services that they provide, improvement of the state of their financial affairs, sharp increase in their competitiveness thanks to utilization of entrepreneurial approach in their activity [2-5; 8].

The Triple Helix model of H. Etzkowitz is well known around the world [4]. However, in post-Soviet countries the impact of not only universities, but also the establishment of the Academy of Sciences should be considered. It is therefore important to develop a model that takes into consideration specific features of these countries.

Research issues raised by the paper. This paper analyses necessary conditions and peculiarities of implementation and development of entrepreneurship in higher education establishments, as well as establishes their mission and the main directions of their entrepreneurial activity.

In the post-Soviet countries, a system of national and other types of academies of sciences still exists. They consist of scientific-research establishments – scientific-research institutes (including scientific academic units – departments, laboratories, groups). Also, the state industrial scientific-research and manufacturing units operate. Their task is to develop prototypes and commercial production of the new technology. As a result the most substantial part of the state budget financing of the research is distributed between the academies of sciences and industry research and production units (complexes). Higher education institutions receive a smaller portion of the funding for scientific research and development activities (R&D). It refers to basic and applied scientific research, scientific work for the government (commercial, industrial) and other businesses.

In this respect, it is necessary to coordinate teaching and research activities of higher education institutions, institutions of academies of sciences and industrial research and production structures.

The main conclusions of this paper. According to this research, necessary conditions of implementation of entrepreneurship in higher education establishments are as follows:

1. Entrepreneurial mentality of people in a society (American entrepreneurial society is a great example here).

2. Favorable national law that does not serve as an obstacle of transformation of a university into an entrepreneurial university. The best national law allows for great freedom and independence of higher education establishments and does not limit initiatives of the establishments of higher education.

3. The level of independence of colleges and universities in the system of national higher education, as well as their independence on the local level.

4. Ownership type and the will and desire of the leadership and employees to take part in innovative entrepreneurial activity.

5. Existence of leaders who possess entrepreneurial qualities at each level of the hierarchical structure of the establishment as well as possession of such qualities by employees.

6. Existence of strong corporate entrepreneurial culture [2-4]. Formation of a strong team by the employees and leaders with entrepreneurial qualities.

The distinguishing feature of higher education establishments is their academic content, which creates their main goal of creation and dissemination of new knowledge in a society. This presupposes the following mission that colleges and universities need to fulfill:

1. Educational: different forms, types and methods of education (such as professional preparation of undergraduate and graduate students, life learning etc).

2. Scientific and research activity: conducting fundamental research and obtaining new results in all knowledge fields; new discoveries.

3. Scientific and technical activity: development of new types of products, technologies and know-how.

4. Publishing: publishing of fundamental research as well as popular scientific literature, text-books and periodicals, as well as development and publication of high quality art and fiction literature.

5. Expert-patent and library activities: provision of expert evaluations in all knowledge fields; activities in patents and copy rights protection; library formation.

6. Information services, implementation of internet technologies and provision of distance methods of information and education access; distance learning support.

7. Enlightenment: organization of various events (lectures, seminars, presentations in classrooms and via mass media) with the goal of popularization and spreading of knowledge and new discoveries in science and technology, as well as health care education of population.

8. Leading of bringing-up processes: Students and employees of the higher education establishment are taught patriotism and moral qualities via their participation in charitable activities (organization of camps, kindergartens for campus employees’ kids, help to the elderly and disable people, orphanages, etc).

9. Athletic activities: students and employees of the higher education establishment participate in athletic events of various kinds of sports; necessary conditions are provided for the athletes’ participation in local, regional, national and international competitions.

10. Health care (university health care centers and medical departments in universities and colleges): provision of healthcare services to students, faculty, employees and all community members.

11. Cultural: preservation of cultural artifacts; educating of national cultural elites, development of arts; cultural student activity under the supervision of faculty; theatre activities on campus, etc.

12. Socio-economic: increase of the level of intellectual level of all community members as well as increase of the level of national scientific and economic potential.

13. Entrepreneurial and production activities: helping people develop economic way of thinking and entrepreneurial mentality; helping people obtain necessary professional knowledge; improvement of social processes in support of small and medium business, etc.

As to Ukraine in addition to the R&D entrepreneurial activities the following activities also may be considered as entrepreneurial activities of a university or another higher education establishment:

1. Student enrolment (local, national and international students).

2. External communication, including international communication. This activity includes faculty search (national and international); membership participation in professional groups and associations; international education.

3. Search for partners nationally and internationally.

4. Planning of such educational programs, which are in high demand in the country and internationally.

5. Conducting research activity and its distribution for a fee. Income generation via patents, royalty payments, new discoveries and know-how.

6. Planning and development of new forms of educational activities (academic education, internship, etc), new forms of enterprises and new forms of entrepreneurship.

7. Planning and organization of publishing activities.

8. Organization of conferences and faculty participation in these events.

9. Extracurricular activities.

10. Organization of community - useful events.

11. Receiving profit via renting out premises, providing services and via the operation of campus.

Furthermore, there are other activities that may be viewed as entrepreneurial activities of a higher education establishment. They are as follows:

• Contracting out certain services and doing contract research;

• Preparation and vending educational materials, such as textbooks;

• Providing expert opinion and conducting professional expert evaluations (medical, judicial, patent, archeological, art, etc); educating high level professionals (Master’s and Doctoral levels);

• Organization of different entertaining events both – nationally and internationally.

• Pre-school and K-12 education;

• Organization of various cultural, athletic, education events by the staff, faculty and students of the higher education establishment; renting out the establishment’s facilities for such events conducted by other organizations;

• Prospective and current student services (internship, job search, assistance to international students in terms of dealing with immigration services).

Promising potential entrepreneurial activities may be such activities as foundation and operation of private colleges and universities, private K-12 schools and kindergartens; experimental enterprise production utilizing new scientific-technical discoveries of the higher education establishment; private publishing houses; PR agencies; student cafeterias, internet-cafes, etc.

Let us consider the experience of the US entrepreneurial university model development and entrepreneurship in the UK higher education.

The US Entrepreneurial University Model Development

The activities of continuous improvement of the US university represent an equally sustained effort of the teaching personnel and of the university staff, as well as the students and the businessmen – the potential employers of the university graduates. In this respect, the university actively supports the participation in the educational process of the students, the course attendees and their parents, on one side, as well as of the alumni and businessmen, on the other side [7].

The quality of the educational services offered by the US university depends upon the quality of the people working at the university – faculty members, students, researchers and administration. The evaluation of the competences and abilities of all parties involved in the university’s educational process (done by specialized bodies, large audience, media, etc.) is important for development and strengthening of the university prestige. The same importance is given to the evaluation of the study programs offered, the curricula and the syllabi, the supplied material resources and other processes’ evaluation at university level.

The profile of students has changed significantly within the past years and this transformation will take place further on. Today’s students have access to an enormous information volume concerning the opportunities of applying to university or post-university programs, as well as employment opportunities throughout the studies period. Consequently, the US universities show continuous interest in making the students’ voice be heard and listened and actively involving them in the university’s internal processes [7].

The universities in the US have made some changes regarding the relationship between the faculty, the students and the business environment with the purpose of further development and strengthening of university and business co-operation. These changes were caused by the following factors:

• the increase in the number of candidates that wish to take university studies, but whose educational background does not meet the requirements of the academic level;

• the lack of selective and differentiated admission criteria, depending on the nature of the study program, the specificity of the study domain, the candidates’ profile, etc.;

• diversifying the students’ requests concerning the quality and efficiency of the teaching and learning process;

• some students’ incapacity to better coordinate the time split between course attendance, fulfillment of university tasks, working part-time, and, moreover, involvement in academic evaluation processes;

• some students’ choice of adopting the strategy that allows them to obtain, in the shortest time span, a university degree so as to apply for a job;

• increase of the number of students that break off their studies in order to integrate in the manpower field;

• employing students with limited material resources and, consequently, reducing the study time;

• limited knowledge regarding educational processes within the university, as well as regarding the functioning of the institution in general;

• lack of enthusiasm regarding active involvement and taking responsibilities for processes within the university;

• increase in students’ freedom of movement from one educational process to another, etc. [7].

Entrepreneurship and UK Higher Education

It is globally accepted that entrepreneurship is greatly influencing the structure and competitiveness of western economies. Taking into consideration the US experience and positive results of supporting and development of entrepreneurship in higher education, the European Union and the UK government are paying great attention to this issue.

It has been proved that entrepreneurship in its business understanding is closely connected and associated with the development and growth of economics, small businesses and helps to solve employment problems. In future society personal, business, community and social entrepreneurial behavior and organizations will be the most important. This view is very popular in the US, especially in leading foundations. The concepts of ‘Intellectual Entrepreneurship’ and of the ‘citizen scholar’ present a visionary challenge to the higher education sector [5]. The wide understanding of entrepreneurship has major implications for the way in which education in general and higher education in particular prepares individuals for the life in the real non-stable world of uncertainty, complexity, opportunity and challenge. Drawing down from this analysis the visionary challenges to the higher education sector include those of: “creating” its own autonomy in acceptance of the notion that less and less of its funding will come from the state; acceptance of the “idea” of a university embracing relevance and integration of knowledge and sharing with, and learning from, the wider community; internal re-organization to provide a stronger steer to entrepreneurial endeavor while building on the natural autonomy of individual academics. Externally there would need to be: wider engagement with the stakeholder community as apart of an organizational learning strategy; recognition that the creation of science parks, incubators, technology transfer offices, patent protection arrangements are not as important as opening up and integrating into the university activity-based relationships with the relevant stakeholders in both a formal and informal institutional manner. This in turn would mean: encouragement of a wider range of interdisciplinary activity and degrees and creation of related centers; wider recognition of responsibility for the personal development of students and staff, career and lifelong learning experiences; the recruitment of entrepreneurial staff and entrepreneurial leaders as change agents including the opening up of academic posts to a wider constituency via adjunct and visiting appointments; the building of rewards systems well beyond the current research, publication and teaching criteria; and overall, ensuring that the concept of entrepreneurship education is embedded in the faculties, owned by key staff and integrated into the curriculum [5].

The Features and Practices of the US Entrepreneurial University Model

The US model of an entrepreneurial university, that the majority of the universities all over the world try to use, is characterized by a clear orientation towards its internal and external clients’ demands, including those of the business environment. This model is interconnected and interdependent with wide development and strengthening of partnerships with all partners, who prove to be interested in the university’s educational process, academic and research results. The entrepreneurial type of university is greatly interested in the quality and the result of its activities, as well as in achievement outcomes obtained both from a scientific-research or technological investigations and from the employability and labor market.

Therefore, the business environment in the US is deeply involved in and collaborating with the academic environment regarding the content of the study plans, methods of teaching and passing newly acquired knowledge, as well as the competences that students must have acquired at graduation. There is a stated interest, declared by both parties, in correctly identifying the problems today’s society is dealing with, but also in identifying its requirements, and a clear wish to take the necessary steps in order to correct the deficiencies and non-conformities is manifested, so that both parties get the desired results.

The practices that the US model of entrepreneurial university is pursuing are concerned with the following: university’s clients; leadership system; strategic planning; process management; human resource management; and performances evaluation. The paper [7] further addresses these practices.

1) Special attention is given to the university’s clients. In the US business educational system, a student is looked at from several points of view: as beneficiary of the information and knowledge that the teacher passes; as a partner or an active participant in the teaching and learning process; as well as a shareholder of the university directly involved in the material support of the academic environment, with all the subsequent rights and responsibilities. The current reform of the university educational system in the USA awards the rightful importance to the continuous improvement of the system of communication and passing the information and new knowledge to the students, to the development of correct evaluation of students’ performance systems, to the improvement of the students’ financial support system, but also to the extension of the internationalization effort and increase of the students’ mobility.

It is possible to group all university clients in two main categories:

• internal clients – students, teaching staff, administration personnel;

• external clients – potential employers, students’ parents, alumni, the university community, and the business community.

Because evaluation of client satisfaction represents a permanent activity of the university and a way to evaluate its performances, annually (or half-yearly) a series of data from clients is collected, both through direct research, and through indirect research – polls, interviews, focus group, parent meetings, meetings with business environment representatives, etc. This data is then analyzed and transformed into information and knowledge, valuable for the participants in the educational process that can further insure reaching the planned objectives and the continuous improvement of performances. For instance, as a result of the analysis of data regarding student satisfaction concerning the courses offered, some of the decisions taken and implemented are aimed at: redesigning the curriculum, revising the syllabi, promoting the teaching staff, distributing the budgetary funds, etc.

2) As far as the leadership system is concerned, various work committees debating specific issues are organized within universities, such as: The Strategic Planning Committee, The Promotion and Title Committee, The Curriculum Planning Committee, etc. Among permanent members of these committees there are students, graduates and business environment representatives, together with the teaching staff and the administration personnel.

3) In elaborating the annual strategic plans, a series of specific stages are taken into account, such as: defining the mission, the vision and key values the university promotes; establishing the objectives and prioritizing them; identifying the action plans to reach the objectives; identifying and allocating the necessary resources, granting responsibilities to the human resources; identifying the evaluation and progress tracking methods; disseminating results by placing them at the disposal of the interested parties.

4) Across the universities in the US, special attention is awarded to the process management, respectively to:

• identifying key processes that add value to the university’s products and services, such as curriculum planning, planning and revising the courses’ content, programming and supplying the courses, student assistance, student evaluation;

• identifying support processes that do not contribute directly through adding value, but support the key processes, such as student counseling, selecting and evaluating teaching staff’s performance, attracting funds, etc.

A third category of processes kept under control within the US universities is represented by the process referring to the relationship with external partners and clients of the university, processes such as: recruiting students, acquiring equipment, developing efficient infrastructure, etc.

The research in the educational field demonstrates the fact that, nowadays, the learning process – as main tool of knowledge supply which develops the students’ real competences – is topping the teaching process as subject of interest that has represented until recently the favorite subject in the paradigm of the educational process. Adopting new strategies of teaching and learning that would lead to wider student responsibility concerning acquiring competences truly requested on the labor market, but also the evaluation of one’s own achievements and professional evolution has gained more importance.

5) Human resources management represents yet another interest focus point of the leadership of American universities oriented towards quality, concerning: planning and describing the working system – description of jobs, performance recognition and reward, human resource planning, etc.; identifying the necessity of professional improvement – education, training, qualification, improvement, etc.; and identifying the requests concerning the insurance of the entire personnel’s welfare and satisfaction.

6) Few results that the American universities oriented towards quality and excellences obtained are presented below:

• Results concerning the students’ performance and satisfaction evaluation, such as: degree of graduation, student satisfaction level regarding the assistance, with the resources they benefited by, with the educational programs offered, student satisfaction concerning the acquired competences, etc.

• Results concerning the human resource performance, such as: number of publications in specialized magazines with reviews, participation of teaching staff in editorial groups or in the activity of different work committees set up at institutional level, supplying community services, etc.

• Results concerning the financial results, such as: number and nature of grants earned through competition, number of research contracts, number of personal contributions on internal and external level, volume of funds attracted from the alumni etc.

• Results concerning the market performance, such as: positioning of educational programs at local, national and international level.

• Results concerning the university’s global efficiency, such as: student profile, bachelor degree grade, salary received upon employment, etc. [7].

As far as Ukraine, secondary school students study for 11 years, not 12 as in other countries. Therefore, they come to study in universities usually at 17 years of age. The average age of graduates of undergraduate programs are usually 21-22 years. It is too early to start a meaningful life-long career.

Also the big problem is the exodus of young people of college age to study in the European Union and other economically developed countries.

The Universal Module System of Entrepreneurial University

We offer such module architectures of entrepreneurial universities:

Research entrepreneurial university, which has in its structure: training colleges (or faculties), which include departments and academic laboratories; research institutes (RI) or research complexes (RC), which include scientific-research laboratories and departments or branches; supplementary modules and production and technological modules (Fig. 1).

Innovation entrepreneurial project-oriented university of research type, which has in its structure: academic programs; scientific-research projects; supplementary projects and production and technological projects (Fig. 2).

The architecture of the entrepreneurial universities modules of the following types is as follows:

1) Board of Founders / Board of Directors or the President / Rector of the University: marked as .

2) Administrative management modules – Academic Council of the university (with sections of basic directions of the university), Scientific Councils, Council of Entrepreneurs, Professional Association of Faculty and Academic Staff, Students and other Community Advisory Councils.

These modules are marked as .

3) Academic module (academic structural unit) – the Department (Chair). Let us mark it as.

4) Research and Development (R&D) Module (a research structural unit) – Scientific Research Laboratory (SRL). These modules are marked as ..

5) Supplementary modules (structural units) to support academic activities (training programs) and scientific research (research projects) – Academic Department, the Research Department (with Postgraduate and Doctorate Departments), Experimental Workshops (engineering, technical, repairing, metalwork and mechanical), libraries, various foundations with patent funds of academic and scientific-technical production, computer centers and complexes, systems of Internet and Intranet support, dining rooms (cafeteria), sports facilities, medical centers, health camps, construction and renovate services, analytical accounting and fundraising departments.

We will mark them as .

6). Production and technological modules (structural units, or departments) – experimental production facilities (which develop the results of research into experimental models with further development and introduction into specialized industrial production), educational and experimental-industrial economy (agriculture, forestry, livestock, fishing, etc.), clinics, hospitals, business firms (companies) and other institutions belonging to the universities. Let us mark them as.

7) Entrepreneurial module (group of entrepreneurs): let us mark it as

8) Entrepreneurial Council of Founders / Board of Directors or the President / Rector of the University (with the entrepreneurial vision, entrepreneurial features and entrepreneurial character) will be marked as.

9) All modules have a direct inter-connection to each other and with all of them simultaneously through the information channels that are further marked as lines and communication centers (marked as dots ).

Fig.1. Research entrepreneurial university

Fig.2. Innovation entrepreneurial project-oriented university of research type

Using the above elements, we can build the module structure of any university (higher educational institution), research institution, scientific-industrial organization or industrial complex. All of these types of organizations more or less perform educational, research, design and production activities.

Combining academic modules (academic structural units) – departments of the college or faculty, and research and development (R&D) modules (a research structural units) – scientific research laboratory (SRL) in scientific research institutes (SRI) or scientific research centers (SRC), support services and manufacturing and technological units we can provide such universal modular architecture (structure) of modern research (teaching and research) entrepreneurial university (Fig. 1).

Utilizing A. Groudzinski’s project-oriented professional University idea [6] let us propose a universal modular program-project architecture (structure) of a modern entrepreneurial research university, which includes educational programs, research and other projects (Fig. 2).

Indeed entrepreneurial universities are characterized by including the following main factors:

1. Top management (owners, Board of Directors, President, Chief Executive Officer) with entrepreneurial vision and preferably with business inclinations.

2. The group of core entrepreneurs that

• generate entrepreneurial ideas;

• participate in the development of entrepreneurial projects;

• have unlimited degree of freedom in their creative entrepreneurial search;

• rely on the support of the team.

3. Availability of staff with high professional qualifications will act out in life innovative entrepreneurial programs in market conditions.

4. Integrated entrepreneurial culture where each employee (or the vast majority of team members) share the views of entrepreneurial leadership and really support entrepreneurial policies and programs of the organization, conscientiously work and feel responsible for the results.

5. The existence of the liberal values, democratic views, freedom, high moral and ethical standards, honesty, openness, transparency, behavior and conduct any and all team members ("top-down").

6. Using of innovative teaching methods, new educational and vocational programs, a variety of courses and disciplines, interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary approaches to learning, advanced equipment, advanced techniques and technologies, training of different educational levels, maximum involvement of students (graduates, doctoral students) to research and teaching.

7. The existence of friendly environment for entrepreneurship, private small and medium business, of real support of the society and government of the entrepreneurial activity and projects.

It should be noted that the “triple Helix” model of innovative development proposed by H. Etzkowitz proved its viability and efficiency in developed countries and is now widely used in the Russian Federation, Brazil, PR of China and others countries. This model is appropriate for use in conditions of Ukraine.


Experience of the U.S. and other economically developed countries shows significant progress and achievement of entrepreneurial universities and colleges. The contribution of entrepreneurial universities into science, technology and economic development of their regions and countries as a whole are quite significant. The result of entrepreneurial activity of the leading universities is their high ranking and competitiveness in the market of educational and scientific services. Entrepreneurial universities are self-sufficient, perform important research and engineering development, implement new technologies, and promote cultural and spiritual development of both their students and faculty, and residents of the region. Fruitful and intelligent cooperation of entrepreneurial universities with business supported by the government provides the highest efficiency of their independent and mutually beneficial activities.

Globalization and internationalization processes, reduction of state funding, as well as commercialization of the field of higher education – all these factors lead to inevitable transformation of colleges and universities into entrepreneurial educational business structures, entrepreneurial universities. The problem of surviving of Ukrainian higher education establishments in the difficult post-world crisis conditions strongly demands introduction of effective entrepreneurship in the field of higher education. Positive experience of such transformation in the leading world countries as well as in several national colleges and universities provides evidence for effectiveness of this approach. This approach may be a great way of helping Ukrainian universities and colleges become self-relying financially independent and highly competitive educational organizations.


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5. Gibb, A. & Paul, H. (2006). Towards the Entrepreneurial University? National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship. Working Paper 035/2006 // The NCGE Working Paper series, Sept. 2006, from communities/ index.php

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8. Shattock, M. (2003). The Entrepreneurial University Model: Factors Which Inhibit Its Realization. In: Creating and Sustaining Entrepreneurial, Innovative Universities. (Lectures given at the University of Strathclyde by Burton Clark and Michael Shattock, September 2002). Glasgow: University of Strathclyde, pp. 10-21.

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №4 - 2012

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