Friday 25 June 2021 10:16am
Programme Director Dr John Williams, Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl, Professor Nathan Berg, Professor Robin Gauld, and Esmay Eteuati.
The University of Otago Business School is preparing to offer the first new general business degree to be offered in New Zealand in more than 100 years.
“We want the programme to be attractive to students who wouldn’t normally consider a commerce degree, but do want to develop entrepreneurial mindsets and skills, whatever their passion.”
Otago Business School Dean and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Commerce) Professor Robin Gauld says the need for a new Bachelor of Entrepreneurship (BEntr) qualification was highlighted by the strong growth in the University’s postgraduate programmes in Entrepreneurship.
“The Bachelor of Entrepreneurship seems a natural fit for the Otago Business School and the Otago community, as we’re lucky enough to have many highly innovative companies which began operating in the south.
“The Business School has offered a leading Bachelor of Commerce degree for over 100 years. We are really excited to be building on this legacy, by taking a major step in offering a completely new, complementary degree,” Professor Gauld says.
Programme Director Dr John Williams says the new qualification is being launched to respond to the changing skills and attitudes that employers are demanding of graduates. He also says the Business School’s Taumata (advisory board), made up of alumni and other business leaders, has encouraged the development of such a course.
He says that the Taumata does a great job of keeping the Business School “real” and grounded in terms of what New Zealand business needs today.
“We want the programme to be attractive to students who wouldn’t normally consider a commerce degree, but do want to develop entrepreneurial mindsets and skills, whatever their passion,” Dr Williams says.
Co-developer of the degree, Associate Dean Māori Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl adds, “the degree will help meet Māori demand for entrepreneurial thinking combined with practice. Māori values and approaches will provide new insights into business creation, whether as a start-up or an existing business”.
Fellow BEntr co-developer Associate Dean Pacific Esmay Eteuati says entrepreneurship is a pathway to empower Pacific students to build resilient, healthier communities leaning on their own culture and knowledge.
“We know in Pacific families there are certain careers parents encourage their kids to take, so this degree will encourage a greater flexibility and accessibility to tools and skills to make an impact in our community.”
The University of Otago BEntr was approved by the national Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP) earlier in the month.