ATTITUDES OF UNDERGRADUATES OF SOCIAL STUDIES UNIT TOWARDS ENTREPRENEURSHIP

ABSTRACT

This study examined the attitudes of undergraduates in Ebonyi State University’s Social Studies Unit toward entrepreneurship education. The study was guided by four research questions. The study employed a survey research design. The population for this study consisted of 151 (one hundred and fifty-one) students from Ebonyi State University’s Department of Arts and Social Science Education’s Social Studies Unit. There was no sampling because the population was large enough to warrant a survey. According to the findings of the study’s data analysis, environmental factors such as favorable government policy, rules, and regulations influence students’ attitudes toward entrepreneurship education at Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki. Based on the findings, it was suggested that: lecturers teach Entrepreneurship education should be more specific about the types of funding available to students and how they can access these funds.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

Education has long been regarded as a viable tool for preserving culture and achieving personal and national emancipation in all societies, developed, developing, or underdeveloped. Every society has a goal that it strives for, and the need of a society or nation determines the type of education it adopts at some point. According to Okoli (2011), every society, whether civilized or primitive, evolves ways of satisfying its needs and transmitting its culture to the younger generations. Okoli (2011) went on to say that each society develops its own education to meet the needs of the time. Any nation’s primary goal is to provide economic empowerment to its citizens. Education must then be tailored to the needs of the students.

Not according to some international prescription, but according to the needs of the nation/society.

The process of facilitating learning is known as education. A group’s knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits are passed on to others through storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, or research. Education is frequently carried out under the supervision of educators. According to Hub (2012), education in its broadest sense is any act or experience that has a formative effect on an individual’s mind, character, or physical ability. In its most technical sense, education is the deliberate transmission of society’s accumulated knowledge, skills, and values from one generation to the next (Hub, 2012).

Education is derived from the Latin words Educare (Educere) and Educatum. Educare means to mold or train.

It means to bring up, lead out, or draw out, propulsion from within to without. Educatum refers to the act of teaching. It sheds light on teaching principles and practice. The term Educare or Educere refers to the development of a child’s latent faculties. However, the child is unaware of these possibilities. It is the educator or teacher’s responsibility to be aware of these and to use appropriate methods to develop those abilities.

According to Shane (2003), entrepreneurship is the act of being an entrepreneur. Shane defines an entrepreneur as “an individual who undertakes innovations, finance, and business acumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods and the result of one effort.”

Entrepreneurship can refer to the formation of a new company or the revitalization of an existing one in response to a perceived opportunity. Also, Isaacs, Visser, Friedrich, and Brijal (2007) defined entrepreneurship education as an instructor’s intentional intervention in a learner’s life to impart entrepreneurial qualities and skills that will enable the learner to survive in the business world. Entrepreneurship education, according to Alberti, Sciascia, and Poli (2004), is the structured and formal transmission of entrepreneurial competencies, which refers to the skills, concepts, and mental awareness used by individuals during the process of starting and developing their growth-oriented ventures.

Entrepreneurship education at the tertiary level can play an important role in changing students’ attitudes toward self-employment and equipping them with the necessary skills.

to run a company, preparing them for self-employment in the labor market (Saeid, Mohammad, Harm, and Martin, 2010). Entrepreneurship education aims to prepare people, particularly young people, to be responsible, take risks, manage businesses, and learn from the results by immersing them in real-life learning experiences.

Attitudes are crucial in the life of a successful entrepreneur. They will have to overcome obstacles, solve problems, and finish the job as they build their new businesses. They are disciplined, tenacious, and persistent, and they can quickly commit and recommit. They are not intimidated by challenges (Timmons and Spinelli, 2009). As a result, students may plan and carry out an entrepreneurial action in anticipation of the outcome. When they perceive a poor or pessimistic outcome, they

They have a negative attitude. When they perceive the outcome to be positive or optimistic, they tend to develop and maintain a positive attitude toward Entrepreneurship Education.

Students will be more inclined to pursue entrepreneurship education if they believe there are environmental benefits (Kirby, 2006). This means that perceived environmental factors can influence a student’s entrepreneurial intent. As a result, if the perceived environment is favorable to the development of entrepreneurship, students’ entrepreneurial intention will increase; conversely, if the perceived environment is unfavorable to the development of entrepreneurship, students’ attitude toward entrepreneurship education will decrease. Several environmental factors, according to Thurik and Uhlaner (2002), can influence potential entrepreneurship. Among

These are the effects of government policy, social norms, and access to finance on entrepreneurial intent.

Students’ attitudes toward entrepreneurship education are also influenced by demographic factors. A student is most likely to be influenced by a specific group of people, such as family members, friends, peers, and other close relatives. People who grow up in a society or family that runs a business, or where family business is practiced, for example, are more likely to learn and model entrepreneurial tendencies, seeing it as more feasible, socially desirable, and rewarding than formal employment in an established organization (Guyo, 2013). As a result, their interest in entrepreneurship education will grow. Family background is an important variable that has been thought to influence people’s attitudes.

Students are being directed toward entrepreneurship education. Individuals from business families, on average, have a more positive attitude toward entrepreneurship education than those from non-business families (Guyo, 2013).

A student may have a positive attitude toward entrepreneurship education due to their own competency and self-efficacy, but they may not transition into entrepreneurship due to a lack of intention (Krueger, 2000). Entrepreneurial self-efficacy refers to a student’s belief that he or she is capable of successfully performing the roles and tasks of an entrepreneur (Chen etal.,2008). This has an impact on their attitude toward entrepreneurship education. Entrepreneurial self-efficacy for starting a new business, according to RauchandFrese (2007), is a critical factor in increasing the likelihood of business start-up activity. Each individual

Whoever has a strong interest in entrepreneurship will be able to stand alone, dare to make decisions, and implement goals at their own discretion. According to some, the greater one’s self-efficacy, the greater one’s interest in entrepreneurship education (Bryant, 2006). A variety of learning experiences, according to Edelman and Manolova (2008), can be used to expose students to real-world situations. It is anticipated that by doing so, students’ self-efficacy will gradually increase, which is possible as students gain experience by developing complex skills (Iro-Idoro and Iro-Idoro, 2015). A person’s self-efficacy toward a task influences the decision to take on that task, the amount of effort put into the task, and the persistence with which that task is completed.

The surroundings The environment in which a student finds himself or herself has an impact on their attitude toward entrepreneurship education. According to Arenuis and Minnit (2005), new venture creation and entrepreneurial choice do not occur in a vacuum, but are influenced by the environment in which they occur (Chell and Baines, 2000). Students will be more inclined to pursue entrepreneurship education if they see that there are natural potential outcomes (Kirby, 2006). This implies that a student’s entrepreneurial goal can be influenced by perceived environmental factors. Similarly, if the apparent environment is favorable to the advancement of business, students’ entrepreneurial goals will be increased; conversely, if the apparent environment is unfavorable to the advancement of business, students’ attitudes toward entrepreneurship education will be negatively influenced. will be diminished. According to Thurik and Uhlaner (2002), a few natural variables can influence potential entrepreneurship. These variables include the impact of government policy, social norms, and access to finance on entrepreneurial intent.

Statement of the Problem

The number of undergraduate students graduating from Nigeria’s public and private higher education institutions is increasing, and this trend is expected to continue, according to the country’s higher education institutions’ vision. This number is growing in tandem with the establishment of new universities and the expansion of the country’s older universities’ intake capacity. Eventually, the supply of educated human resources will exceed the demand of public and private organizations. Unless students seriously consider self-employment as a career option, this will undoubtedly result in a student unemployment problem. As a result, entrepreneurship is a promising career path for students.

That is why the Nigerian government mandated it for all undergraduate students through the National Universities Commission. to offer entrepreneurship education course as a step towards stimulating active and productive entrepreneurial activities in the country. It is hoped that it will aid in the development of students’ attitudes and interests in entrepreneurship. This effort, however, is seriously jeopardized because some students continue to have a negative attitude and lack of interest in entrepreneurship education. As a result, students are not equipped with the desirable skills and competencies required for job creation and entrepreneurship (Ekpoh and Edet, 2011). This study filled a gap in the literature by investigating the attitudes of undergraduates in the Social Studies Unit at Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki toward entrepreneurship education.

Purpose of the Study

The study’s overarching goal was to examine the attitudes of undergraduates in Ebonyi State University’s Social Studies Unit toward entrepreneurship education. The study was specifically designed to:

1. Determine how students’ attitudes toward entrepreneurship education are influenced by self-efficacy at Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.

2. Determine the impact of the school environment on students’ attitudes toward entrepreneurship education at Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.

3. Investigate how students’ demographic characteristics influence their attitudes toward entrepreneurship education at Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.

4. Determine how entrepreneurship curriculum teaching influences students’ attitudes toward entrepreneurship education at Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.

Significance of the Study

This research has the potential to contribute to at least the following areas. First and foremost, this study will help the university better understand its students’ intentions toward self-employment and create an entrepreneurial environment that encourages students to become self-employed/entrepreneurs, as universities are expected to incubate entrepreneurs rather than produce those who are looking for jobs/employment opportunities from government and non-government organizations. As a result, the university must contribute to the achievement of the country’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

The study will also benefit university undergraduates by providing insight into the importance of self-employment/entrepreneurship.

The findings of this study will also benefit parents in the sense that that they will be better informed about the importance of being an entrepreneurial role model for their children in order to encourage them to have a positive attitude toward entrepreneurship education.

Scope of the Study

The purpose of this study is to assess potential university graduates’ attitudes toward entrepreneurship education. Furthermore, the study seeks to investigate how the environment influences students’ attitudes toward entrepreneurship education; how students’ self-efficacy influences their attitude toward entrepreneurship education; how demographic characteristics of students influence students’ attitudes toward entrepreneurship education; and how the university’s entrepreneurship curriculum influences students’ attitudes toward entrepreneurship education.

Research Questions

To guide the study, the following research questions were developed:

1. How does students’ self-efficacy affect their attitudes toward entrepreneurship education at Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki?

2. What factors influence students’ attitudes toward entrepreneurship education at Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki?

3. How do students’ demographic characteristics influence their attitudes toward entrepreneurship education at Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki?

4. How would the delivery of an entrepreneurship curriculum affect students’ attitudes toward entrepreneurship education at Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki?

 

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