University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

The Impact of Entrepreneurship Education on Developing Students Entrepreneurial Attitudes and Intention in Emerging Economies: An Assessment of the Nigeria Case

Nuhu, Lemun Yatu (2021) The Impact of Entrepreneurship Education on Developing Students Entrepreneurial Attitudes and Intention in Emerging Economies: An Assessment of the Nigeria Case. PhD thesis, University of Worcester.

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Entrepreneurship has gained global approbation as a vital tool for facilitating
economic development (Taylor & Plummer, 2003). In most developed and developing
countries, it trendy to view entrepreneurship as the remedy for decaying and
deteriorating economic activities (Matlay, 2001). Developing economies face
enormous challenges with high levels of unemployment among the youth, especially
university graduates, due to the saturation in the labour market and also the fewer
job openings that exist in the labour market. For similar reasons, entrepreneurship
education has become an essential component of the new curriculum within the
education system at all levels (Primary, secondary and tertiary level) especially in
transition economies (Jones, 2019; Pulka et al., 2015; Li and Matlay, 2005; Li et al.,
2003). Entrepreneurship education is widely believed to be playing a significant role
in developing employability skills among students and in developing the needed skills
and attitude for entrepreneurial venturing (Ahmed et al., 2020; Towers et al., 2020).
While the number of entrepreneurship education programmes is growing, the impact
of such programs is under-investigated. Existing studies portray an unclear picture of
the impact of entrepreneurship education; hence, the growing interest in impact
study in this area (Nabi et al., 2017). This thesis contributes to an understanding of
the impact of entrepreneurship education on developing the entrepreneurial
attitudes and intentions of university students in the context of a developing country
This study utilised a cross-sectional and mixed-method approach in exploring the
entrepreneurial attitudes (EA) that are required of entrepreneurs. It assesses how
well the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in emerging economies (Nigeria) develop
these EAs among students. The research also seeks to establish whether any link
exists between the entrepreneurial attitudes developed by the students and their entrepreneurial intention. It utilises a pragmatic research philosophy, in which
quantitative and qualitative data were collected using survey strategy through
questionnaires, and semi-structured interviews to address the different levels of the
The result of the qualitative research in the first phase of the study revealed some of
the challenges of entrepreneurship education in Nigerian higher education, alongside
the tough nature of the Nigerian context for entrepreneurial venturing. It equally
revealed some of the entrepreneurial attitudes that are essential and fundamental
for entrepreneurial venturing and survival within the chosen research context. One of
the essential points worthy of note in the qualitative findings of the study is the
mismatch between the views of the entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship
educators. Their views differ on the essential entrepreneurial attitudes that are
required for business venturing in the Nigerian context. Equally, the research
established that both the entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship educators show
disbelief in the effectiveness of the HEIs in delivering the expected outcomes of EEd.
The second phase of the study involved collecting quantitative data from students
across selected higher education institutions in Nigeria. The findings from this study
revealed an insignificant impact of entrepreneurship education on the
entrepreneurial attitudes and intentions of the students. More specifically, the result
of the survey does not suggest any significant difference in the entrepreneurial
attitude of the students when first and final year student are compared except for
one of the attitudinal dimensions, achievement motivation which showed a variance
in the score between the first and final year students. In other words, the finding
shows that the number of years spent in an entrepreneurship programme in a
Nigerian HEIs contributes little or nothing to improving students’ attitude towards
entrepreneurship. This has profound policy implications giving that students in their final year on an entrepreneurship program do not have a well-developed an attitude
towards entrepreneurship; that is, they do not differ from the students who are in
their first year. Which means, the entrepreneurship programme has not helped them
towards having a positive attitude towards entrepreneurship.
In terms of contribution to knowledge in EEd, the study provides insight for
entrepreneurs, policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and educators, by providing
a clearer view and a more in-depth understanding of the issues related to
entrepreneurship education within higher education. From a practical point of view,
the findings of the study provide recommendations on how entrepreneurship
education programmes can be made more effective in developing the entrepreneurial
attitudes and intentions of the students. The thesis overall, answers some of the
questions that researchers have been raising and the calls for future research on the
impact of entrepreneurship education with a specific focus on contextual uniqueness,
and how EEd could be more effective in delivering its expected outcome (Liu et al.,
2019; San-Martín et al., 2019).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

A Thesis Submitted to the University of Worcester in Fulfilment of the requirement for the Award of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

A pdf file of this thesis is available to download from this WRaP record.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: entrepreneurship education, economic development, emerging economies, Nigerian Higher Education
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > Worcester Business School
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Lemun Yatu Nuhu
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2021 10:30
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2021 09:49

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