Ashesi University launches research project with McGill University to strengthen entrepreneurial activity of students and alumni

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Ashesi University has launched a research project with McGill University to understand how experiential learning in both universities influences the entrepreneurial actions of students and graduates. The research, sponsored by the Mastercard Foundation’s Partner Research Fund, primarily focuses on Mastercard Foundation Scholars but provides an opportunity to study a broader student demographic. 

Presenting the focus of the research, Dr Gordon Adomdza, Associate Professor at Ashesi, indicated that the study aimed to capture the different ways in which both universities provided experiential education through courses, internships, and volunteering. More importantly, the research will investigate how various experiential learning experiences trigger entrepreneurial activity from students and alumni.

Dr Nii Antiaye Addy, Associate Director (Africa Outreach) in the Office of the Deputy Provost of Student Life and Learning (DPSLL) at McGill University, also noted that the study explores how programmes are implemented differently across both institutions. Through its design, the study would bring an evidence-based assessment of how experiential learning programmes could be made more effective across universities of different sizes and ages. 

“In our current era of uncertainty, complexity, and the rate of technology change, no one institution can brace these challenges on their own,” said Professor Angela Owusu-Ansah, Provost of Ashesi University. “Collaboration is the key. Hence, when Ashesi and McGill collaborate, it allows our two institutions to learn from and complement each other. As we train students in entrepreneurship, we would also train young leaders with the courage and desire to stay in Africa or return to contribute to the continent”. 

As part of their next steps, the researchers from both universities noted that they would take a process-based approach that will send them to African countries where Ashesi draws most of its students. The goal will be to conduct interviews and build case studies on the experiential learning and entrepreneurial journeys of Ashesi alumni.