Recommendations on entrepreneurship in higher education in Uzbekistan: The impact of the Montpellier Study Visit

Considering the latest reforms in the Higher Education System (HES) of Uzbekistan, the role of the HERE is becoming more significant. As usual, after the HERE study visit on ‘The role of universities in developing entrepreneurship skills’ held last 19-20 April 2018 in Montpellier, Uzbekistan HERE wrote a mission report with recommendations specifically targeted at the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialised Education (MHSSE).

The study visit provided a practical case of how a university engages in entrepreneurial activities and also how it provides training in entrepreneurship to students and staff. This will assist universities in Uzbekistan to address some of the current challenges in providing entrepreneurial education, such as nuturing ideas for start-ups, enabling their financing and success and also structuring and supporting university-industry relationships, which are often lacking. It is hoped that students and young scientists will be better-enabled to realise their start-up ideas and entrepreneurial potential during their studies and research activities and that they may be able to continue developing their start-ups after graduation.

The joint report, written by two HERE - Igor Vikhrov and Olim Astanakulov – had specific recommendations on the role of universities in the development of entrepreneurial skills in Uzbekistan. This included:

  • Consider the University as part of the ecosystem of innovative development of the district, city and region in which the University operates;
  • Consider the possibility of creating an innovation cluster for the development of entrepreneurship, which includes universities in central leadership roles;
  • Carry out strategic planning and financing of higher education institutions for at least 10 years consistently, in which innovation entrepreneurship policies are embedded, with guaranteed financing and periodic inspection of quality standards every 2-3 years. This will allow the entrepreneurial culture to grow;
  • Make funds available in higher education institutions in Uzbekistan for financing business ideas of both teaching staff and students;
  • Create a legislative and regulatory framework for more effective involvement of students in entrepreneurial activities;
  • Organize local and regional competitions for the best start-up business and provide further financing and support for universities and other stakeholders to engage in this.

It is notable that the MHSSE has highly evaluated the report and sent it to all higher education institutions, to guide the enhancement of their entrepreneurship activities for young graduates and researchers.