November 27, 2023

State of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Higher Education

Jeanette Cheah 🇦🇺🇲🇾🇺🇸
State of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Higher Education
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation training provide essential capabilities for future workforce
  • Some universities are investing and launching entrepreneurship programs more
  • Embedding entrepreneurship and innovation into the core experience is the goal for future generations

In the ever-evolving landscape of higher education, the intersection of entrepreneurship, innovation, and global mobility is reshaping the way students experience learning. In a recent conversation with Student Garden and Jeanette Cheah, the CEO and co-founder of HEX, to discuss the state of entrepreneurship and innovation within the university sector.

Unveiling the Essence of Entrepreneurship in Higher Ed

A common misconception about entrepreneurship in higher education is that instead of focusing on turning students into founders and business builders, it’s more significant to impart essential capabilities – the ABCs of what a future knowledge worker needs to know.

“I think that we're seeing some universities absolutely rock this space they are investing in their students, we've seen funds being raised internally, we've seen accelerated programs being launched”, said Cheah.

However, HEX envisions going further and that we can do more as an education powerhouse to support the students.

“What we're trying to do is actually embed the entrepreneurship and Innovation into the core of the experience. I want every student to have that experience because I think it economically empowers them.”

HEX at Google tech tour visit as part of the entrepreneurship program.

HEX's Evolution: From Global Mobility to Digital

HEX, initially known as The Hacker Exchange, embarked on its journey in 2017 with a global mobility program. This involved taking students to innovation hubs like Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, Singapore, Melbourne, and Austin, Texas.

However, facing challenges due to lockdowns, HEX evolved into HEX Ed Pro and High, a digital platform translating in-person programs into accessible, curriculum-based online content. This evolution allows HEX to offer high school level curriculum assessments, replacing year 11 and 12 subjects, and gaining AQF 7 Level accreditation, making its transcripts globally transferable.

“This means that this kind of education can be accessed by students all around the world no matter what stage of education they're in. It's a real pathway into higher ed.”

Cheah then added, “I can see a situation where a student in India could do a HEX program online, receive a transcript from an Australian University and then take it to maybe a university in New Zealand. Unlocking global opportunities through innovative education models”.

Crafting an Immersive Learning Experience

HEX's core value of "seriously fun" learning is highlighted as a deliberate strategy to engage students in an immersive learning experience. Recognising the competition for students' attention, HEX Ed programs ensure that the content is of high quality, treating students as sophisticated digital consumers.

Nurturing Human Connections in the Digital Realm

Hex emphasizes the importance of human touchpoints and relationships even in digital learning environments. The approach combines cohort-based or semi-synchronous learning with social interactions, ensuring that students are not just faceless entities but individuals on a learning journey.

“I think a lot of it comes down to the relationships that are built on those programs… Social and human touch points are still essential even if there's digital learning.”, Cheah said.

The goal is not only to provide education but to prepare students to be exponential contributors to the economy, bridging the gap between where they are today and where they aim to be tomorrow.

Pioneering the Future of Education

HEX is touted by Social Garden as the go-to destination for those seeking innovative, aligned, and fun educational programs. The future of education, as envisioned by HEX, transcends borders, making knowledge accessible and enjoyable for students worldwide.

Watch the full interview here:

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