ZJU Hosts UNESCO Entrepreneurship Education Conference


The International Conference on the Construction of the Entrepreneurship Education System was held in Hangzhou on October 29-30. The event was jointly organized by the UNESCO Entrepreneurship Education Network (EE-Net) National Chapter in China and Zhejiang University.

Approximately 200 scholars and experts from various international organizations and countries, including the UNESCO, the United States, Germany, South Korea, South Africa, Croatia, and the Philippines, attended the conference. They together staged a fantastic feast of sparkling ideas.

The opening ceremony was chaired by Northeast Normal University Professor YANG Xiaohui, vice chair of the UNESCO EE-Net National Chapter in China. Also present at the opening ceremony were Professor ZHENG Qiang, ZJU’s vice Party secretary, Ms. WU Yan, director of the Finance, Law and Administration Education Department in the Division of Higher Education of China’s Ministry of Education, Dr. Robert Paura, director of the UNESCO Education Office in Beijing, and Professor XU Xiaozhou, chair of the UNESCO EE-Net National Chapter in China and dean of ZJU’s Social Sciences Academy.

Profesor YANG talked about three construction patterns of the entrepreneurship education ecosystem in higher education institutions from a global perspective and pointed out problems with the current entrepreneurship education in China. He stressed the importance of constructing an entrepreneurship education ecosystem with Chinese characteristics, contributing Chinese wisdom and providing Chinese proposals.

Education should be open and inclusive to ensure its fairness and lifelong learning mechanism, and entrepreneurship should inspire people’s motivation to start up their business against this background, said Robert Paura, among scholars and experts who shared their insights at the conference.

Rebecca A. Corbin, president & CEO of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship in the United States, highlighted the significance of cementing a cooperative relationship with the government, universities and enterprises in an ecological manner.

Dr. Stephanie Couch, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program, introduced the Lemelson-MIT Program, which celebrates outstanding inventors, inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention, recognizes emerging collegiate inventors whose inventions could impact important sectors of the global economy and honors mid-career inventors with a prestigious cash prize.

Dr. Mitchell Rabinowitz, a professor in the Division of Psychological and Educational Services at the Fordham University Graduate School of Education, shared with the audience his research into the importance of excluding irrelevant information in the process of decision-making.

Roger Chao, a senior consultant for the UNESCO International Centre for Higher Education Innovation, emphasized the value of cultivating entrepreneurship spirit and awareness and put forward a key approach to effective entrepreneurship education.

UNESCO Chair Slavica Singer explained the importance of the interaction among academia, the state and enterprises.

The conference was concluded with Professor XU’s speech titled “Challenges and Strategies: Entrepreneurship Education in China’s Institutions of Higher Education in 2030”. He elaborated on the construction of the entrepreneurship education ecosystem from three facets: new challenges, new goals, and development strategies for entrepreneurship education in higher education institutions.

The UNESCO Entrepreneurship Education Network aims to facilitate discussions and exchanges of information and experiences, foster collaboration among EE-Net members, and disseminate best practices and innovative approaches. In November 2014, the EE-Net National Chapter in China was inaugurated at ZJU, where entrepreneurship has been an influential part of campus culture.