Higher education institutions (HEIs) play a critical role in our societies. They provide the high-level skills needed for the modern economy, assist talented young people to transition into employment, generate and disseminate knowledge and innovation, and work together with business, government and civil society to promote economic and social development. However, to reach their full potential, HEIs must constantly improve their organisational approaches, research activities, teaching methods and external engagement practices. Priorities include integrating new teaching methods into the curriculum, developing educational approaches to stimulate entrepreneurial mind sets, providing support to start-up entrepreneurs, strengthening knowledge exchange and innovation collaboration with business, and taking a more international approach to HEI activities. This report examines how to strengthen HEI strategies and practices and government supporting frameworks in this light.

The report forms part of the joint HEInnovate initiative of the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. HEInnovate offers a guiding framework for governments and higher education institutions interested in stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship. It includes an online self-assessment tool ( in 24 languages covering seven dimensions of the “entrepreneurial university”. The tool can be used by stakeholders from within and across HEIs to organise participatory stock-taking exercises to review achievements and identify areas for improvement. HEInnovate also includes a series of country reviews with interested governments and government agencies to support change at higher education system level and identify good practices that are often beneath the radar of policy makers and HEI leaders. Poland is one of the countries to participate in the HEInnovate country review series.

Entrepreneurship and innovation already feature as important parts of the strategic agendas of many Polish HEIs, where senior managers are commonly charged with responsibilities for entrepreneurship education, business support and business engagement. Polish higher education also has a range of funding schemes and entrepreneurial activities in place such as the business incubator network of the Academic Incubator Programme, and the strong involvement of student research clubs in entrepreneurship engagement. At the same time, the review highlights a need to legitimise entrepreneurship as an academic field, engage more professors in the entrepreneurial agenda, use more active methods of teaching and learning for entrepreneurship education, increase business start-up support for students with high-potential projects and create learning networks for entrepreneurship staff in Polish higher education.