The world needs graduates who are innovative, dynamic, smart, daring, efficient, determined, modern and employable or in one word, Entrepreneurial.
Making graduates more employable is a global challenge and universities around the world are becoming more entrepreneurial to face this challenge. The UK has been developing 'Entrepreneurial Universities' by embedding Entrepreneurship in to all areas of graduate education. Sri Lanka is currently exploring how to create an entrepreneurial culture within its state universities.
NEW 08 is the brainchild of the Higher Education Policy Dialogue held in March 2008 and is based on the suggested action points put forward by the Vice Chancellors and senior staff members of the universities who participated in this forum which was organised by the British Council.
British Council in partnership with the Ministries of Higher Education, Vocational and Technical Training and Skills Development and the University Grants Commission with the blessings of the Presidential Secretariat are organising various activities throughout the week of 24-30 November 2008 to create nationwide awareness about entrepreneurship and its importance, especially amongst university students and staff.
British Council along with partner organisations have planned to conduct a series of programmes throughout this week to bring together the British Universities, Sri Lankan Universities and the Industries to develop mutually beneficial long term partnerships in line of developing entrepreneurship education in Sri Lanka. British Council is co-funding the entire programme under the UK Prime Minister's Initiative (PMI) for International Education.
National Conference on Graduate Entrepreneurship will be held on Monday 24 November 2008 at BMICH, facilitated by an expert panel from the UK representing 6 'Knowledge Partner Universities' namely Buckinghamshire New University, University of Central Lancashire, University of Durham, Leeds Metropolitan University and Sheffield Hallam University. The conference is intended for Public Sector Stakeholders, University Lecturers and Industry Representatives. Seminars and workshops on Entrepreneurship will be held on Tuesday 25 November 2008 and will be participated by undergraduates from Sri Lankan universities and students of vocational and technical colleges around the country.
University students will also get the opportunity to take part in a Reality TV based Entrepreneurship Competition called 'IDEATORS' produced by ETV where winners will be awarded internships by the partner companies for this event. For the first time in Sri Lanka a 3-way debate will be held among 3 teams of undergraduates on Saturday 29 November 2008 at the BMICH.
Enterprise Education Exhibition on November 29, 30
As the exhibition and strategic partner for NEW 08, Aspirations Education - the premier Career Guidance and Placement Centre and its CSR arm Aspirations Education Foundation has been entrusted with the task of organising and conducting the exhibition scheduled for 29 and 30 November 2008 at the BMICH. The participants will be Corporate Organisations, Further Education Institutions and Recruitment Services.
This will provide the corporate sector participants the opportunity to meet their prospective employees and enlighten them on the various skills and competencies required for gainful employment. Students on the other hand will be able to get first hand information about the job opportunities available in the different sectors.
The group discussion hosted by Aspirations Education Foundation will be held on Sunday 30 November 2008 with the participation of Academics, Students and Corporate Sector Representatives. This discussion will be held among 3 groups, each with a moderator and is expected to explore the causes and consequences of graduate unemployment with a view to finding remedial measures. Based on their suggestions and action plans the expert panel will draw up the final plan of action to arrive at a practical and workable solution to the core issues at hand. The organisers of NEW 08 are hopeful of the success of this programme with the contribution of all stakeholders for realising their objectives.