This paper considers the conceptualisation of ‘academic entrepreneurialism’ and develops new ideas and insights by contextualising the concept. It critically reviews the conceptual literature of academic entrepreneurialism which is dominated by research and conceptualisation by the West and reflects its implications for understanding academic entrepreneurialism in China. After that, it answers the key question: Is academic entrepreneurialism a universal concept? By academic entrepreneurialism, it refers to the phenomenon that universities are willing to supply knowledge for capitalising new opportunities, managing risks and maximising revenues, reputation, or human capital in response to the demands for education, research and knowledge solutions by the knowledge society and economy, as well as developing new markets for their knowledge-based services and goods. This paper draws on global perspective and the case of Chinese higher education, and engages in conceptual discussions about the applied universality of academic entrepreneurialism and its limitations of making sense of cultural uniqueness in various contexts. We argue that academic entrepreneurialism is not a universal and all-encompassing template but the beginning of constitutive, continuous and complex transformation of institutional reasoning of different universities across the world. Not taking the culturalist presuppositions, new ideas from this paper may be helpful for reconsidering, redesigning and reorganising research, education and engagement of universities beyond East and West so as to foster their self-understanding in the entrepreneurial age and future-oriented development. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s).
CitationTang, H.-H. H., & Zhang, E. Y. (2023). Is academic entrepreneurialism a universal concept? New ideas and insights from contextualisation beyond East and West. International Journal of Chinese Education, 12(2). https://doi.org/10.1177/2212585X231188794
- Higher education
- Entrepreneurial university
- Academic capitalism