Entrepreneurship Education and Undergraduates' Attitude to Self-Employment: A Case Study of a Nigerian University*

By Obisanya, J F; Akinbami, C A O et al. | Ife Psychologia, September 2010 | Go to article overview
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Entrepreneurship Education and Undergraduates' Attitude to Self-Employment: A Case Study of a Nigerian University*


Obisanya, J F, Akinbami, C A O, Fayomi, A O, Ife Psychologia


Entrepreneurship Education (EE) and undergraduates' attitude of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria, (OAU), to self-employment were examined. Over one thousand students enrolled for the special electives in 2006/2007 academic session. These students were administered with questionnaire, pre- and post-entrepreneurship education. Out of these, six hundred students were randomly selected as the sample size, consisting of three hundred each for both pre-intervention and post-intervention exposure respectively. A control group which consisted of 156 students, chosen randomly , was also set up to compare the perception of students who were exposed to EE as against those who were not exposed to EE Data generated were analyzed using simple frequency and percentage tables. The study revealed that about 94% of respondents indicated their preference for self-employment after the post-intervention exposure as against 14.7% of respondents from the control group. Comparing the results of the pre-and post-intervention survey of exposing undergraduates to EE as against the result from the control group, it was observed that EE had great impression on those exposed. Furthermore, the various responses from the post intervention survey showed that the experience of EE has enriched their knowledge on starting and owning business, In addition, it has also changed their perception about self-employment. Recommendations and implementation for including EE into tertiary curricula were also given.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship-education, intervention, self-employment, undergraduates, universities, curricula, Nigeria

1.0 INTRODUCTION

The historical trend of higher education in Nigeria from the 1930s to the late first decade of the third millennium reveals that the number of established tertiary institutions in the country has experienced a tremendous growth. For example, polytechnics grew from one in the 1930s to sixty in 2007. There was only one university in 1948. Today there are ninety-five universities and more are being proposed. Between 1958 and 2008, colleges of education have grown from one to eighty four (Ajao, 2008).

The proliferation of universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and other specialized tertiary institutions in Nigeria and other nations of the world is a desirable thing for learning. To accommodate student enrolment in these institutions in Nigeria, most of them resorted to establishing study centres, satellite campuses and outreach programs. This became worrisome and government through its regulatory agency of universities, the National Universities Commission (NUC), had to put a stop to it. In addition, the contents of the various tertiary institutions as documented in their various curricula do not reflect entrepreneurial skills development that will enable young graduates to be selfemployed. Thus, one of the major factors as well as challenges that face the education sector for the attainment of the Federal Government's developmental programmes such as "7-point agenda", "Vision 20-2020" is the issue of the curriculum. Despite the fact that existing curricula in most of our tertiary institutions were fashioned after those of higher institutions in Europe and Americas, particularly Britain and the USA, the colonial educational policy (Aladekomo, 2004), which still affects decisions in the educational sector, was meant to only produce literates to man certain positions that reinforces their control over their subjects. The curricula were narrow and stereotypically lopsided taking into consideration only the needs of the colonial masters without taking into consideration that the students have the whole world as their catchment area and should be able to function in the global market and not at a corner of the globe only. As a consequence, many of the curricula in Nigeria educational system, particularly at the tertiary level, are not geared toward effective national and economic development, because the graduates of such programmes are not easily employed or selfemployed and in most cases have to wait for many years after graduation to secure jobs (if any).

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