Creative Education
2013. Vol.4, No.2, 92-97
Published Online February 2013 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
The State of Entrepreneurship Education in Universities in
Shanghai, China: A Survey from Students’ Perspective
Yiyang Fan, Xing Zhang, Yuting Qiu
Business School, Uni v e rsity of Shanghai for S c i e nce and Technology, S h a n ghai, China
Email: *
Received November 13th, 2012; revised December 14th, 2012; accepted December 29th, 2012
In order to understand the status quo of entrepreneurship education in universities in Shanghai, this article
draws data from a survey on college students in Shanghai. The sample covers a wide range of students
from different majors, school years, and regional backgrounds. The analysis focuses on their recognition
of entrepreneurship education, the curriculum, and the preparation of entrepreneurship, etc. Based on the
survey data, the article also discusses the current problems of entrepreneurship education in universities
and provides suggestion in terms of the conception of reforming entrepreneurship education, the entre-
preneurship curriculum, and the mechanism supporting entrepreneurship among college students.
Keywords: Student Surveys; Entrepreneurship Education; Universities in Shanghai
Entering into the implementation phase of the 12th Five-year
Plan, entrepreneurship education has been carried out perva-
sively in Chinese universities. According to regional economic
environment and industry characteristics, many colleges and
universities actively explore the entrepreneurship education
model for training innovation personnel which combined with
the school’s professional characteristics and educational re-
Shanghai creates an active environment for entrepreneurship.
Many government agencies and non-profit organizations, such
as Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, Shanghai Mu-
nicipal Labor and Social Security Bureau, and Shanghai Tech-
nology Entrepreneurship Foundation for Graduates, provide
entrepreneurial knowledge, entrepreneurial skills training, en-
trepreneurial guidance and venture capital support for the col-
lege students’ entrepreneurial practice to realize their business
With the characteristics of openness and comprehensive, en-
trepreneurship education is difficult to follow a fixed pattern.
Moreover, colleges and universities are shackled by a long-term
and inherent professional education model and will encounter
new issues and problems in implementing the reform of inno-
vative entrepreneurship education. Therefore, it’s necessary to
combine different professional education and education re-
source configuration, meet with the needs of the educatee, in-
novate the teaching form and teaching management style, and
seek a pragmatic approach to carry out entrepreneurship educa-
Background and Methodology
To fully understand the state of entrepreneurship education in
Chinese universities and to ensure a highly representative result,
a survey was administered to 700 students at seven colleges and
universities in Shanghai. The respondents consist of under-
graduates, postgraduates and doctoral candidates who majored
in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM),
economics, management, arts, humanities, and so on. The pro-
file of the filtered data set is shown in Table 1.
To avoid repeated counting, the total number of “Region”
and “City/country” are smaller than that of respondents respec-
Questionnaire Content s
In accordance with the purpose of the research, the ques-
tionnaire is mainly consisted of four modules to measure stu-
dents’ perceptions and personal opinions towards entrepre-
neurship education, entrepreneurial values and entrepreneurial
Table 1.
The profile of respondents .
Category Characteristic Number Ratio Total
Male 317 49.92%
Gender Female 318 50.08%635
Freshman, Sophomore 215 33.86%
Junior, Senior 232 36.54%Grade
Graduate, Doctor 188 29.6%
STEM 205 32.28%
Economics, management 204 32.13%
Arts, humanities 226 35.59%
The Central 132 32.27%
The East 192 46.94%Origin
The West 85 20.78%
Villages, township 134 27.46%
Prefectural-level city, county 117 23.96%
Provincial capital, municipa lity 237 48.57%
*Corresponding author.
preparation, along with respondents’ demographic information
and practical experience. As shown in Figure 1 below.
Valid Questionnaires and Data Processing
The questionnaires were distributed 700 copies, and 659
were returned. Excluding invalid surveys of 24, there are a total
of 635 valid surveys for a valid response rate of about 90.7%.
After filtering the surveys, we use SPSS16.0 statistic al software
for analysis and data processing.
The reliability of the questionnaire was tested before proc-
essing. But with limitations of the time and difficulties, this
article only tested the internal reliability of the questionnaire—
the internal consistency and split-half reliability, regardless of
the test-retest reliability. The test shows that the Cronbach’s
reliability coefficient for this scale is 0.913, indicating good
internal consistency of the questionnaire. At the same time, all
odd-and even-numbered questions in this questionnaire are di-
vided into odd array and even array with a split-half reliability
of 0.869, also demonstrating good reliability.
Perception of Entrepreneurship Education
Basic Situation of Students’ Opinions towards
Entrepreneurship Education
To understand students’ demand and develop the entrepre-
neurship education effectively, the survey inquired the respon-
dents’ opinions towards entrepreneurial curriculum, such as
whether entrepreneurship education is necessary even if he/she
has no entrepreneurial intention, whether he/she has ever at-
tended entrepreneurship as elective courses, and whether the
entrepreneurial courses will influence their entrepreneurial
The survey data show that 71% of students think that the en-
trepreneurship curriculum is necessary even if there is no en-
trepreneurial plan. This result indicates that students have
strong demand for entrepreneurial courses, as well as high level
of acceptance.
With respect to the implementation of entrepreneurship edu-
cation, 52% of respondents said that they had ever minored in
entrepreneurship. This data show that entrepreneurship educa-
tion enjoys a high degree of popularity. Furthermore, many
colleges and universities have gradually emphasized on the
development of entrepreneurial curriculum, and offered entre-
preneurial course as required course.
330 students in this survey have ever attended entrepreneur-
rial curriculum, of whom 21.5% believe that the entrepreneurial
curriculum have a significant effect, 51.5% think a certain ef-
Figure 1.
fect, while 27% say no effect. To
Four main contents of ques ti onnaire.
a certain extent, these results
e different demand for entrepreneurship education,
lts show that, 66.2% of the students who think
dents’ attitude towards the effect of entrepreneurial
ons towards
Curriculum Evaluation of Entrepreneurship
indicate that the existing entrepreneurial courses have received
wide acceptance, though challenges remain for the ongoing
entrepreneurship education and curriculum system.
Besides, in reply to “whether he/she has an entr
an”, 46% of students expressed their intention to start a busi-
ness. The enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and the demand for
entrepreneurship education both promote the development of
entrepreneurship education in shanghai.
Differential Analysis of Entrepreneurial Curriculum
To study th
is survey makes gender, grade, major, and origin as basic
variables to explore the diversified needs. This paper uses cross
analysis, Scheffe and LSD comparison for data processing with
The resu
ghly of entrepreneurial curriculum are males. Apparently,
males hold a higher regard for entrepreneurial curriculum than
The stu
rriculum varies with different majors and grades. Of the stu-
dents who think highly of entrepreneurial courses, 39.4% are in
STEM majors, 32.4% in arts and humanities majors, while
28.3% in economics and management majors. Of the students
who think entrepreneurial courses have modest effect, 38.8%
are in STEM majors, 25.9% in economics and management
majors, while 35.3% in arts and humanities majors. Of the stu-
dents who think entrepreneurial courses have little effect,
28.1% are in economics, management and STEM majors, while
43.8% in arts and humanities majors.
Curriculum Evaluation of Entrepreneurship
Education by Students in Different Majors
Students in different majors hold different opini
trepreneurial curriculum. Students in economics and mana-
gement majors have learned much more knowledge of business
operation and management in their specialized courses. But
students in STEM majors have little access to such professional
knowledge, therefore, they have an intense interest in entre-
preneurial management knowledge, as well as much more de-
mand for transforming the professional technology into bus-
iness value (Postigo & Tamborini, 2005). This is one of the
reasons that students in STEM majors think much highly of the
effect of entrepreneurial curriculum.
Education by Students in Different Grades
Students in different grades also hold different op
wards entrepreneurial curriculum. 46.5% of the students who
think highly of entrepreneurial curriculum are postgraduates
and doctoral candidates, while 19.7% are junior and senior col-
lege students. And only 15.6 of all the freshmen and sopho-
mores think highly of the effect of entrepreneurial curriculum.
Of the students who think entrepreneurial courses have little
effect, 56.2% are freshmen and sophomores, while only 11.2%
postgraduates and doctoral candidates. The details of variance
analysis are shown in Table 2.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 93
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
onal experiences, expertise and
Entrepreneurial Curriculum Design and
Curricular Desigs
to the survey data, students think that the most
able 2. ntiation in curriculum evaluation of entrepreneurship education b a s ed on various bas i c variables.
Gender Major Grade
Due to the respondents’ pers
ture career planning, the respondents’ degree of concern and
the demand for the entrepreneurial courses is different. All in
all, among the students who think highly of entrepreneurial
curriculum, students in higher grades are more than that in
lower grades, males are more than females, postgraduates are
more than undergraduates, and students in STEM majors are
more than in economics, management, arts and humanities
Demand Analysis
n and Demand Analysi
In order to understand students’ demand for en
ucation, such as curricular design, the forms and contents of
education activities, the survey inquired respondents through
some ranking questions such as the effective entrepreneurial
curriculum, the most interested entrepreneurial knowledge, the
important qualities that teachers should possess in entrepre-
neurship education and so on. The results are shown in Table
3. According
fective entrepreneurial curriculums are entrepreneurship in-
ternship and entrepreneurial management course. Entrepreneu-
rial course which involved in professional curriculum and
short-term internship course rank the third and fourth, but pub-
lic elective courses and career guidance rank the last two. This
indicates that students pay more attention to entrepreneurial
management and the experience of entrepreneurship internship,
need more opportunities for entrepreneurial practice and attend
the professional entrepreneurial management courses. The gen-
eral courses for entrepreneurship and career guidance can no
longer meet the students’ demand for entrepreneurship educa-
tion (Yu, 2006).
Entrepreneurial knowledge that the students most want to
learn is start-up business management. Technological manage-
ment, laws and regulations, and finance management rank the
second, third and fourth respectively. And students show the
slightest interest in marketing and the support policy for entre-
preneurship. This findings provide a useful reference to cur-
ricular design and the preparation of teaching plans for aca-
demic leaders and educational administrators.
According to the survey on the qualities that teachers should
possess in entrepreneurship education, students choose the “en-
trepreneurial experience” and “practical experience” much
higher than the other options. It indicates that students need the
direct guidance from entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurial prac-
tice as much as possible. There for it’s important and necessary
to promote school-enterprise cooperation for faculty develop-
ment in entrepreneurship education.
Entrepreneurial Curriculum Design and Differential
Demand Analysis
The survey data show that the demand for entrepreneurship
education varies with different grades and professional back-
ground. To meet the different needs of students, developing en-
trepreneurship education properly can not only allocate edu-
cation resources effectively to improve the efficiency and effect
of the entrepreneurship education, but also avoid becoming a
mere formality or a sandwich between entrepreneurship educa-
tion and professional education (Xu, 2008).
The differe
level PC%
Male emale STEM E & M A & H P & D J & S FF & S
Total 66.2% 33.8% 39.4% 28.2% 32.4% 46.5% 26.8% 19.7%
Significant effect V
Modest effect V
Little effect V
ariable26.7% 15.6% 23.5% 22.5% 18.9% 39.3% 15.6% 13.1%
Total 54.1% 45.9% 38.8% 25.9% 35.3% 24.1% 31.2% 38.8%
ariable52.3% 50.6% 55.5% 49.4% 49.2% 48.8% 43.4% 61.7%
Total 41.6% 58.4% 28.1% 28.1% 43.8% 11.2% 56.2% 30.3%
ariable21.0% 33.8% 21.7% 21.8% 32.0% 11.9% 41.0% 25.2%
Note: data in italics indicates that (curricect) exficant es (p < the coing cat E & s econd
able 3. and for entrepreneurial curriculum.
Rank Effective entrepreneurial curriculum Entrepreneurial knowledge most interested Qualities teachers should possess
this factor ulum effists signidifferenc 0.05) inrrespondegories.M denotenomics a
management majors, A & H denotes arts and humanities majors, P & D denotes postgraduates and doctoral candidates, F & S denotes freshmen and sophomores, J & S
denotes junior and senior college students.
Rank of dem
First Entrepreneurship internship Start-up business management Entrepreneurial experience
Second course
Third d Laws and regulations Innovation ideas
Fourth Finance management Passion
Entrepreneurial managem ent Technologic al management Practical experience
Entrepreneurial course which involve
in professional curriculum
Short-term internship
Dntintrepreneurial Curriculum
Different Grades
ral candidates for entrepreneurial cur-
al Demand for Entrepreneurial Curriculum
in Different Majors
According to the survey data, the stu-
e restricted by the to-
taonal courses account
forming the professional knowledge to scien-
practical links.
epreneurial support, this study in-
vestigates the following questions, such as the source of entre-
eneurial opportunity is a period
llege students. The data
p two for the most desirable assistance entrepreneur-
ous personal characteristics differ in
ording to the survey data, of the stu-
ation Difficult problems rank Desirable assistance ranks
iffereal Demand for E
There are significant differential needs of undergraduates,
postgraduates and docto
culum. The undergraduates show great interest in entrepre-
neurial internship courses, while the postgraduates and doctoral
candidates pay more attention to entrepreneurial management
courses that related to their majors and research directions.
Most of postgraduates and doctoral candidates have work or
internship experience, or have ever participated in their profes-
sor’s research project, so they need to involve entrepreneurship
education in professional learning and practice, and integrate
entrepreneurship education with their professional and research
The students of different majors show interest in different
entrepreneurial courses.
nts in economics, management, arts and humanities majors
put stress on learning professional entrepreneuria l manage ment,
attending entrepreneurship internship in business entities, and
wish to integrate entrepreneurship education with their profes-
sional courses. On the other hand, the students in STEM majors
think that it’s difficult to integrate entrepreneurial knowledge
with their expertise, and choose to acquire entrepreneurial
knowledge in public elective courses, graduate internship pro-
grams, and short-term internship courses.
There are four reasons for the results:
Firstly, the students in STEM majors ar
l course credits (hours), so the professi
r most of time that teachers can just instruct professional
theories in class.
Secondly, STEM education is short of professional teachers
and weak in trans
ic and technological achievements.
Thirdly, to some extent, the results reflect the low efficiency
and effectiveness of the teaching plan in
Lastly, the curriculum system in economics and management
majors has included the knowledge of marketing and b
erations, so the students desire to attend entrepreneurship
internship and entrepreneurial management courses directly.
Entrepreneurial Preparation and Perceptions
urvey on Entrepreneurial Prepar ation and
In order to further understand the students’ entre
values and demand for entr
preneurial motivation, the most difficult problems and the most
desirable assistance in establishing a business. The survey re-
sults are shown in Table 4.
As the results shown, more than half of the students believe
that the most appropriate entrepr
ter work, the option of starting a business before graduation
ranks the second, but only 4.9% of students choose to drop out
of college to establish a business.
The survey on the entrepreneurial motivation aims to study
the entrepreneurial values of the co
ow that more than half of the students to choose to realize
individual ideal and create personal wealth as the main motive-
tion, while the employment pressure only ranks the fourth. This
indicates that the students’ incentive to start a business is to
realize or add self-value, reflects the positive entrepreneurial
values of contemporary college students, and proves that the
type of entrepreneurial activity of young people has turned to
the “challenging” entrepreneurship (Davey et al., 2011).
Lack of funds and ideal entrepreneurial projects rank the top
two for the most difficult problems in establishing a bu
d lack of guidance and legal knowledge rank thereafter. This
indicates that lack of entrepreneurial start-up funds and ideal
entrepreneurial projects are the most difficulties that the college
students encountered in the early days of starting their new
Start-up funds, entrepreneurial knowledge and skills training
rank the to
al practice. The results coincide with the rank of the most
difficult problems. It shows that college students eager to get
financial support for start-up, as well as more comprehensive
and professional entrepreneurship education and skills training.
Differential Analysis
The students with vari
entrepreneurial plan. Acc
nts who have entrepreneurial intention, males are more than
females, students in STEM, arts and humanities majors are
more than in economics and management majors, postgraduates
and doctoral candidates are significantly more than under-
graduates. With regard to the origin of students who have en-
trepreneurial intention, the students from the Midwest are sig-
nificantly more than from the east, and 55.3% from the middle
and 53% from the western have entrepreneurial intention re-
spectively. Meanwhile, 56.0% from the village and township
have entrepreneurial intention, significantly more than 36.0%
from the provincial capitals and municipalities. Detailed statis-
tical data are shown in Table 5.
able 4.
sults of survey on entrepreneurial preparation and perceptions. R
Entrepreneurial opportunity Entrepreneurial motiv
Start a business after work (64.7%) Realize individual ideal (32. 3%) Lack of funds Entrepreneurial funds
Start a business before graduation (18.9 %) al projects
Create pe rsonal wealth (24%) Lack of the ideEntrepreneurial knowle dge
and skills training
Start a business whil e graduating (11.5%) Encouraged by successful busine
personage (13.2%) Lack of marketing skills Entrepreneurial guidanc e
Drop out of college to establish
a business (4.9%) Employment pressu r e (12.1%) Lack of courage to bear reEntrepreneurship in t ernship
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 95
Dudents wit
Major Grade
able 5.
ifferent entrepr eneurial plan of sth various characteristics.
Option PC%
STEM A & H P & D J & S E & M F & S
Total 35.7% 25.4% 38.8% 26.5% 35.7% 29.2%
With intention Var
No intention V 27.
Nevet it
iable 51.0% 36.3% 50.2% 49.0% 48.4% 37.0%
Total 26.4% 41.5% 32.1% 23.1% 26.9% 48.6%
43.1% 30.2% 31.2% 26.5% 44.8%
Total 33.
V 21.
8% 32.3% 33.8% 23.8% 41.5% 32.3%
r think abouariable6% 20.6% 19.6% 19.7% 25.1% 18.3%
Note: E ics and manajors, A &tes arts aies maj D denotaduates aral candi& S
denotes freshmen and sophomores, J & S de nond senior tudents.
sm of freshmen and sophomores are significantly greater than
ecommendations for the Entrepreneurship
rmality and in a hurry to succeed. The
lum System of Entrepreneurship
are different. To meet with these diverse
es of the framework of the existing professional
lishing a substitute cross-discipline and cross-specialty course
e Faculty Development
hers is one of the key issues
trepreneurial experience
esources for entrepre-
l Resources to Develop
ly the re-
o of the
kinds of
that colleges and universi-
& M represents economgement ma
tes junior a H deno
college snd humanitors, P &es postgrnd doctodates, F
Besides, the survey shows that the entrepreneurial enthuse- education (Mao, 2009), such as innovating the mentality, estab-
ae junior and senior students, namely students in lower grades
have greater entrepreneurial enthusiasm than who in higher
grades. This indicates that the students become much more
rational at the choice of future career and entrepreneurship with
REducation in Colleges and Universities
h Importance to the “Principals” Projects
The attitude of university presidents has a great impact
effect of entrepreneurship education. Only the top policy on the
aker of Entrepreneurship Education
Lack of skilled professional teac
the colleges and universities attach importance to the entre-
preneurship education, the following key issues can be solved:
Whether to involve entrepreneurship education into the
school’s educational plan.
Whether to involve entrepreneurship education into the
overall teaching system.
Whether to establish entrepreneurship education institutions
of self-management.
Entrepreneurship education is a strategic and systematic pro-
ject that can’t just be a fo
sence of entrepreneurship education is quality-oriented edu-
cation and innovative education, so the task of entrepreneurship
education is to create good cultural atmosphere which can en-
courage the initiatives and innovative spirit of the educational
administrators and professional teachers (Kirby & Ibrahim,
2010; Lee et al., 2005).
Innovate the Curricu
The survey shows that the demands of students with various
characteristicsneeds, Developing entrepreneurship education is not on
lleges and universities should offer different levels of entre-
preneurial courses for different objects, and integrate them into
professional courses. The curricular design should not be “one
size fits all”, and enforced as “required courses”. To some ex-
tent, this way is not only contrary to the original intention of
entrepreneurship education, but also against the laws of scien-
tific education.
The curriculum system of entrepreneurship education should
break the shackl
credit platform, making full use of the existing teaching
practice and identifying the equivalent extracurricular activities
and technological achievements. These methods provide some
innovative ways of curricular management to realize the
“soft-landing” of entrepreneurship education which address two
key issues:
The proper curricular design.
“Equivalent” evaluation of students’ innovative and entre-
preneurial abilities.
Strengthen and Emphasize th
in entrepreneurship education. In the practice of entrepreneur-
ship education, a stable faculty is urgently needed. Currently
the university teachers who have en
d are familiar with the students, the development of industry
and the demand trends of new products, are valuable resources
for entrepreneurship education. Therefore it’s an important task
to develop these potential professionals.
The double-tutors system involving schools’ and enterprises’
is an effective resource to develop teachers out of campus and
also more suitable for the higher grades of the undergraduate
stage. Off-campus tutors are valuable r
urship education, especially welcomed by students in practi-
cal activities. And this model addresses three key issues:
Attracting the qualified entrepreneurship teachers in col-
leges and universities.
Training the professional entrepreneurship teachers.
Developing off-campus entrepreneurship faculty.
Make Full Use of Socia
Entrepreneurship Education
sponsibility of the colleges and universities, but als
whole society. Universities should make full use of all
social resources to develop a system
s are the main part and encourage positive interaction among
the four elements of governments, schools, enterprises and
society. The joint platform promotes the implementation of the
entrepreneurship education effectively which can provide com-
prehensive support, such as policy support, school support,
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
corporate funds and social practice for college students to start
their own business.
The government puts forth various policies to encourage
students to start business and widely publicize these policies.
The colleges and universities enhance cooperation with enter-
prises to build internship platforms for students. The communi-
Project of Education and Science 2011
(B11041), the Leading Academic Discipline Project of Shang-
hai Education Coand the Liberal
trepreneurship percep-
tions and career intetudents, Education &
s establish Students’ Start-up House for entrepreneurial
guidance. All of these should be the important chains of entre-
preneurship education
This research was financially supported by the China Shang-
hai Municipal Research
mmittee, China (2016[67])
rts and Social Science Training Program in University of
Shanghai for Science and Technology by a grant from Shanghai
Academic Degrees Committee (2012[13]).
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