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Emerging Support Systems for Entrepreneurship Education in the Context of an Ambitious National Reform in Chilean Engineering Schools

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Macarena Zapata P.E. Universidad de Chile

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Macarena Zapata Pizarro received her Bachelor degree in Industrial Engineering at Universidad de Chile and Master degree in Management and Public Policy at Universidad de Chile. She serves as coordinator of the Armonización Curricular Area in Ingeniería 2030 project for the Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas of the Universidad de Chile. Her research interests include entrepreneurship, innovation, technology transfer, education, science and technology policy, evaluation of public policies.

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Sergio Celis Universidad de Chile

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Sergio Celis is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering and Sciences at the Universidad de Chile. He conducts research on higher education, with a focus on teaching and learning in STEM fields. His primary research interest is in how multiple forces, internal and external to the institution, influence what and how we teach in colleges and universities. Sergio received his professional degree in industrial engineering at the University of Chile and his Ph.D. in higher education at the University of Michigan.

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The purpose of this study is to characterize the support systems for entrepreneurship education in five Chilean engineering schools that were part of Ingeniería 2030, a national program launched in 2012. This program sought to strengthen applied research, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship education in engineering schools. Overall, Ingeniería 2030 granted about US$60 millions over a six-year period. As a result, engineering schools implemented unprecedented efforts to promote and support entrepreneurship among undergraduate students. In this context, we pose the following question: What are the main strategies the selected engineering schools use for the promotion of entrepreneurship education? To address this question, we conducted 20 semi-structured interviews with professional staff (12) in the newly created entrepreneurship units, as well as top administrators (3) and faculty members (5). We also analyzed archival documentation, such as web sites and Ingeniería 2030 reports. The results indicate that the main strategies for supporting entrepreneurship education are related to four issues. First, a tension exists in these mostly traditional schools in terms of their role as conventional institutions and what is expected of them as entrepreneurial schools. Second, schools struggle with balancing and connecting curricular and co-curricular activities. Third, professional staff and administrators view engineering faculty members as conflicted by research demands on the one hand, and pressure to get involved in entrepreneurship educational initiatives on the other. Fourth, regular academic demands are seen as a barrier to get more students involved in entrepreneurial activities. These issues must be addressed in order to understand how the national policy for stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship in engineering schools is reshaping the university ecosystems in ways that are more or less consistent with institutional contexts.

Zapata, M., & Celis, S. (2019, June), Emerging Support Systems for Entrepreneurship Education in the Context of an Ambitious National Reform in Chilean Engineering Schools Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32703

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