Transitions in the Australian economy and demography: implications for a formal entrepreneurship education program


Buckley, Patricia Louise; Lasky, Barbara; O'Connor, Allan


This paper explores transitions in the Australian economy and social demographics and the implications of these for the formal entrepreneurship education sector. By focusing on the internal transitions which have taken place at the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) and placing them into context with the external pressures of a transitioning economy and an ageing population this case study based approach tracks the response of one educational institution to these changing demands drawing implications for the broader entrepreneurship education sector. In 1986 the Swinburne University of Technology Melbourne Australia, pioneered the development of the first post-graduate study program in entrepreneurship. Over the eighteen years since this initiative the Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MEI) has evolved to be the unique selling position of the university. In the process the MEI has migrated from its roots in the engineering school to join the flagship school of post-graduate business studies for the university that was subsequently renamed the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship. The MEI remains one of the only post-graduate programs in Australia of its type. The aim of the MEI program is to maximise the total probability of success and participation in high growth venture creation. However, although the programs current position has been achieved through intentional educational altruism in response to shifting needs, has it simultaneously succumbed to pressures that may place the program at risk of being out of step with the future demands of a new economy? Through this investigation we identify a number of key points that offer universal learning for education institutes experiencing similar environmental conditions to that of Australia. In addition a concentrated focus on entrepreneurship education highlights major implications for the development of curricula to satisfy shifting demands and expectations.

Publication year


Publication type

Conference paper


34th Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Small Business Conference, Turku, Finland, 08-10 September 2004


European Foundation for Management Development


Copyright © 2004.