Post written by: Niall O’Leary

The ScreenMe Net project partners met on Friday the 12th of November to discuss teaching excellence, building networks and methods of stakeholder engagement. The meeting was led by Dr. Niall O’Leary from the Hincks Centre. 17 representatives from the project partners participated and 5 guest speakers were invited to present.

Prior to the project meeting, participants were requested to complete a short survey to prepare them for the event and to also provide context and a starting point for discussion. This survey yielded some interesting results which supported great discussions around stakeholder engagement in higher education. One interesting result from the survey showed, that even though some institutions had specialised staff that supported stakeholder engagement, the majority did not use this service. Some of the challenges faced for stakeholder engagement in higher education centred around securing guest speakers for long term engagement. This proved difficult as well as lecturers relying on the networks of other colleagues to make connections on their behalf. These challenges were addressed through the panel of guest speakers orgainsed by Dr. Niall O’Leary.

Colleagues from MTU, Jönköping International Business School and Vrije Universiteit Brussel shared the ways in which they engage stakeholders in teaching in higher education. Guest speakers included Emmett Coffey, Lecturer In Public Relations & Media Communications, MTU, who spoke about the Media Communications Department in MTU and the experience of introducing entrepreneurship education into the department through various modules and exercises. Professor Irene Sheridan, Head of Extended Campus, MTU, spoke about the Extended Campus department as a central unit where the focus is to stimulate and support the engagement interactions of university as a whole including stakeholder engagement and management.

Leona Achtenhagen, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Business Development, Jönköping International Business School (JIBS), gave 6 examples of how they make use of different types of stakeholder engagement in different types of courses that are linked to entrepreneurship and innovation in JIBS. Luciano Morganti, Professor and Senior Researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in the Communication Department spoke about 2 programmes offered at VUB and how they attract, retain and interact with guest speakers from industry. To wrap up, Isabel Rossiter, Faculty of Business & Humanities in MTU, delivered a presentation on the European Creative Futures (ECF) where multidisciplinary, international teams of students work together to create entrepreneurial ventures with the help of 5 international partner universities.