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Revitalising Entrepreneurship in Higher Education

This year NCEE will be 20 years old, and with huge changes in higher education and society it is time for us to revisit our pledge to support universities to be more enterprising and entrepreneurial. With Enterprise for Life we have launched our campaign to create a more entrepreneurial UK.

Launched at a roundtable in partnership with Universities UK and the Federation of Small Businesses, we are bringing universities and business together to revitalise entrepreneurship in the UK.

Educational institutions play a crucial role in fostering an entrepreneurial mindset. However, the narrowing of educational objectives, combined with reduced funding, has deprioritised enterprise education. Support has become narrowly focused on finding the next “unicorn” rather than fostering a broad base of entrepreneurial talent.

As a sector, we need to re-establish ourselves as a launchpad for innovation and entrepreneurship, rising to the challenge of becoming key drivers of community and economic development locally, nationally, and internationally. NCEE is collaborating with Enterprise for Life to bring together universities, the private sector, and policymakers to make this change. It has been 20 years since NCEE was formed by the then Labour Government to support universities in becoming more enterprising and entrepreneurial. It feels timely to revisit that original remit, reimagining what it could mean for the UK today.

By fostering entrepreneurial mindsets, equipping students with essential skills, and creating robust support systems, we can transform our approach to entrepreneurship in higher education. This renewed focus will not only benefit our students and graduates but also contribute significantly to the broader economy and society.

We will take this forward in partnership with industry and universities.

This report was shaped by those in higher education and industry. We want to continue that engagement and will be inviting expressions of interest for working groups to take the pillars forward. If you are interested do contact Ceri Nursaw (

Thank you to our strategic partners the Federation of Small Business and Universities UK.

Thank you to the following organisations for their contributions:

Universities: Anglia Ruskin, Aston, Bath Spa, Coventry, Liverpool John Moores, Newcastle, Salford and Suffolk.

Big South London Partnership, Curzon Consulting, Forces in Mind Trust, Landmarc Solutions, Localis, NatWest, Oracle and X-Forces Enterprise

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