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Supporting Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Higher Education in Austria

image of Supporting Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Higher Education in Austria

The Austrian higher education system has consistently recognised the need to become more entrepreneurial and innovative with a view to supporting the economic, social and cultural development of the country and its regions. Over the past decades, the government has been implementing a broad reform agenda to provide strategic funding, diversify higher education institutions (HEIs) and promote an allocation of students that improves the quality of services and empowers them vis à vis the future of work and society.

This review illustrates policy actions promoting the development of entrepreneurial and innovative activities in the Higher Education System and individual HEIs. In addition, based on information gathered during study visits, the review discusses strategies and practices adopted by Austrian HEIs to innovate, engage, and generate value for their own ecosystems and networks. The review is part of a series of national reports implementing the HEinnovate framework. HEinnovate is a holistic framework that the OECD and the European Commission have developed to promote the “entrepreneurial and innovation agenda” in higher education.

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Preface by Austria

Austria places high emphasis on the societal role of higher education institutions as a proactive and stimulating innovation force through the promotion of a broad entrepreneurship definition. This includes the institutions’ identities as well as their teaching and research activities. In view of the fast changing world of work, high professional qualifications are a necessary prerequisite, but also key competences such as initiative and entrepreneurial skills, creativity, innovation and willingness to take risks, as well as the ability to organize and execute projects in order to achieve concrete goals, are rapidly gaining in importance.

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