Universities – Entrepreneurial and Sustainable. Best of Both Worlds?

here is a constant pressure for universities to act as engines of sustainable development. The roles of universities are slowly shifting to embrace their third mission (besides teaching and research) and transform into entrepreneurial universities. Entrepreneurial university is characterised with taking a proactive stance, seizing opportunities in its immediate and wider surroundings and cross-fertilising ideas reaping both economic and societal rewards. As such, it can be argued that the model of entrepreneurial university can serve as a blueprint for attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A large number of higher education institutions (HEIs) – universities and universities of applied sciences – are currently revising their institutional commitment to entrepreneurship and sustainability by adopting new missions, visions and strategic plans. A strong entrepreneurial university committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will act as an influential stakeholder and enabler in the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem. This vision can lay the path for the emergence of a “smart” universities (of applied sciences). The traditional university campus is transforming into a sustainable smart campus as universities (of applied sciences) are experimenting with the integration of new technologies and big data to improve how students live and learn on campus. Higher education thus becomes smart, being an ideal testing environment for new technology initiatives that benefit regional, city and campus residents.

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