Coop4Edu final event & learning modules released
High level discussion on cooperative entrepreneurship in higher education & learning modules released
On 17th and 24th of November Cooperatives Europe and KU Leuven hosted the final multiplier events for the Coop4EDU Erasmus+ project. Over 100 participants attended the two sessions online, titled “Cooperative entrepreneurship in higher education,” which saw high level discussions as well as the presentation of higher education learning modules and materials developed by the project. The materials are readily available under the creative commons license and published as open education resources on oercommons.org.
On the first day after a keynote speech delivered by Dr. Ruth Yeoman, Professor at Oxford University, participants joined breakout rooms to discuss the integration of the modules developed by the partners of Coop4EDU project into existing curricula and new courses.
The discussion highlighted the need for dedicated materials on cooperative entrepreneurship in Higher Education, not only in economics curricula, but in a wider range of courses. Access to skills like integrity, empathy, and group dynamics is vital for students and can be learnt in a cooperative way.
The second day focused on integration of cooperative entrepreneurship in policies, both in education and in general. The session featured two guest speakers: Patrick Klein, Head of Social Economy and Social Enterprises sector at EU Commission, and Julie Rijpens, Policy Analyst in Social Economy and Entrepreneurship at OECD.
The discussion was facilitated by partners in 4 language-specific breakout rooms: English French, Greek, Spanish. Participants tackled many aspects of the topic including, among others:
- Better networking among academia and cooperatives and other stakeholders to share initiatives and activities on coop entrepreneurship as there are lots of similar initiatives;
- Integration of cooperative entrepreneurship in secondary school curricula to inform young students while they take decisions about their education and career paths;
- Need for better communication and sharing knowledge on existing training programmes, research activities, etc.;
- Stronger bonds between research and advocacy in the cooperative movement.
- Importance of research and funding for cooperative research;
All the ideas shared will feed the final report to be published in December that was presented as an advanced draft in the last presentation of the session by George Efthimiou, Ioannina University.
The education resources developed by the consortium of partners, coordinated by Alcala University (Spain) and including the Center of Expertise for Cooperative Entrepreneurship of KU Leuven (Belgium), Ioannina University (Greece), Cooperatives Europe (Belgium), Co-operative College (UK), the Coopetic Group (France) and the European University Foundation – Campus Europae (Luxembourg), include various topics such as history of cooperation, principles of cooperative entrepreneurship, business model development, business planning for cooperatives, team dynamics and cooperation, cooperatives in a digital era. The modules, which also include relevant exercises, teaching plans and further readings, are made available under creative commons license and published as open education resources on oercommons.org.