Entrepreneurial education and learning at universities: exploring multilevel contingencies

Davide Hahn, Tommaso Minola, Anita Van Gils*, Jolien Huybrechts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Abstract despite the worldwide increase in entrepreneurship education offered at universities, there is an ongoing debate whether and under which conditions this type of education contributes to students’ entrepreneurial learning. Building on human capital theory, we hypothesize that the exposure to various entrepreneurship education initiatives has an inverted u-shaped relationship with entrepreneurial learning outcomes. We also argue that this relationship is moderated by the entrepreneurial experience of the students, the teaching pedagogy applied in entrepreneurial initiatives offered at the university and the prevalence of opportunity-driven entrepreneurship in the country. A multi-level analysis on a cross-country sample of 87,918 students resulting from guesss (‘global university entrepreneurial spirit students’ survey’) strongly confirms our hypotheses, and allows us to discuss implications for researchers, educators and policy makers with respect to the nature of entrepreneurial learning, the design of entrepreneurial education programs, as well as the contextual conditions that impact entrepreneurial learning outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)945-974
JournalEntrepreneurship and Regional Development
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Entrepreneurial learning
  • entrepreneurial education
  • human capital
  • multilevel analysis


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