Ekonomski Vjesnik (Jan 2018)

Designing entrepreneurial education in Russia: Hard and soft skills

  • Alexander Yashin,
  • Anna Bagirova,
  • Alexey Klyuev

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 31, no. 2
pp. 261 – 274


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The paper presents the results of analysis of entrepreneurial curricula delivered at Russian universities. The analysis yielded the following results. Te proportion of credits aimed at developing hard skills significantly outweighs the proportion of soft skill-focused credits. The share of credits for forming hard and soft skills at both undergraduate and graduate levels is roughly the same. There are large differences between state and private universities as regards the proportion of credits aimed at forming hard skills: this proportion is higher at state universities than private ones. The analysis also confirmed a significant difference in the proportion of credits for hard skills disciplines for generalist entrepreneurial curricula and specialist programmes: it is higher in general curricula and lower in specialized ones. At the same time, these curricula are not noticeably different as regards the proportion of credits focused on forming soft skills. Our research showed that Russian universities have a low potential for influencing and supporting innovative entrepreneurship through their activities. One of the major persisting challenges for Russian universities as regards entrepreneurial education is the delivery of learning outcomes sought after on the market. Another problem is linked to a critically low share of courses aimed at developing soft skills in curricula for future entrepreneurs. We found that the presence of a rather high proportion of private education providers in the Russian higher education system has not prompted the development of entrepreneurial curricula. Their role in producing an active economic class of entrepreneurs and fostering self-employment is clearly insufficient.