Centre for Educational Policy Studies
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education

On Academic Entrepreneurship: The Transformation of New Zealand’s Universities

10 July 2014

There is no break in cultural area during the summer, so why there should be one in an academic world. This is the time of summer schools and meetings with guests from all over the world. In second week of July CEPS is hosting a summer school UNIKE (Universities in the Knowledge society; FP7 Marie Curie; more http://unike.au.dk/) and within its framework we will organise open lecture by well known Professor of Social Anthropology Chris Shore (University of Auckland; more http://www.arts.auckland.ac.nz/people/csho011). The title of his lecture is On Academic Entrepreneurship: The Transformation of New Zealand’s Universities.

The seminar will take place on July 10 2014 (at 17.15) at University of Ljubljana, Kongresni trg 12, Ljubljana.

Abstract

One of the most striking aspects of the way universities are being transformed in the global knowledge economy is the increasing emphasis many now place on promoting innovation and entrepreneurship as a core aspect of the university’s mission. Rendering academics more ‘entrepreneurial’ has become an implicit, and sometimes explicit, policy objective in many universities. Yet entrepreneurs are, by definition, individuals who own or manage a business and who, through risk and initiative, seek to make profits. How applicable is this Schumpeterian understanding of entrepreneurship to academics? This lecture reports on the rise of university entrepreneurship and commercialization in New Zealand, a country that has pioneered many of the reforms associated with neoliberalism. I explore some of the different sites and spaces of commercialization to ask; what impact is this having on the meaning and mission of the university, and on academic subjectivities? Who are the new academic entrepreneurs of the neoliberal university? And what does ‘entrepreneurship’ mean in a public university context? Finally, I analyze some of the implications and tensions that the rise of academic entrepreneurs is creating in the public university.