Slash students' holidays to help unleash their inner tycoon, says principal

27th May 2011 at 01:00

The principal behind an initiative aimed at encouraging the millions of people who attend colleges to start their own businesses has called for student holidays to be slashed.

Fintan Donohue, principal of North Hertfordshire College, said students should get used to a 48-week year, timetabling should be scrapped and traditional qualifications downgraded, while profit should be celebrated as potentially life-changing for students.

Last week, along with City College Norwich and Gateshead College, Mr Donohue (pictured) launched the Enterprising Colleges initiative, which aims to integrate enterprise education into the mainstream curriculum and to create a business culture within colleges themselves.

He said: "Arguably it has never been more important for us to equip people with the entrepreneurial mindset required to succeed in the 21st-century economy. This means a re-evaluation of the way we teach and a transformation in the way we run our colleges and encourage innovation and ambition."

At North Hertfordshire College 20 students already run a franchise, and a recruitment agency helps others find employment. But Mr Donohue said college leadership also needed to value entrepreneurial culture and act as role models.

A survey by Enterprise UK found that 53 per cent of teenagers did not believe they were encouraged to be entrepreneurial in school.

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