Interculturality and entrepreneurship education: a virtuous cycle?

  • Ana Dias Daniel Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
  • Mariana Pita Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
Keywords: intercultural competences, entrepreneurial skills, entrepreneurship education, employability, internationalisation


Introduction: Multinational companies are now looking for graduates with a wide range of skills that include awareness of other cultures and mastery of more than one language (Jones, 2013). According to Alred, Byram, and Fleming (2003) education should promote “a sense of interculturality, an intercultural competence” (p.6) through a process that is dynamic, interactive, and that transforms attitudes, skills and knowledge, allowing effective and appropriate communication and interaction across cultures (Freeman et al., 2009).

Objectives: A case study analysis was conducted with the objective of understanding the relevance of active learning methodology within an entrepreneurship education course in the development of students’ intercultural competences.

Methods: Given the exploratory nature of the study, we opted for the implementation of a qualitative study, based on semi-structured interviews to students enrolled in the Learning To Be program, in order to gather students' perspectives regarding participation in the program. A questionnaire was also implemented in order to understand which competences students considered to have been developed within the scope of that participation.

Results: The results showed that i) students evaluate the experimental learning methodology positively; ii) student’s intercultural competences have increased; iii) openness to work in multicultural context is higher.

Conclusions: The analysis of data suggests that students recognised the relevance of intercultural competences for their future professional career and have highlighted the appropriateness of the methodology used in the entrepreneurship education program for their development. Likewise, the students emphasized the impact of the program on intercultural and entrepreneurial communication skills that could contribute to increasing their employability.


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