Queensland’s QUT has been named Entrepreneurial University of the Year for the Asia-Pacific region at a gala event in Barcelona, Spain.
The Triple E Awards, hosted by the Accreditation Council for Entrepreneurial and Engaged Universities, launched in 2020 to recognise entrepreneurial excellence and foster change in universities, emphasising the role institutions play in enhancing communities and ecosystems.
The award comes as QUT is named in the top 13 per cent of universities around the world, ranking in 189th place, its strongest performance in the QS World University Rankings.
Entrepreneurial activities at QUT are led by Pro Vice-Chancellor (Entrepreneurship), Professor Rowena Barrett, and the Triple E Award win confirms the global role QUT is playing in nurturing innovative thinking through international collaborations that make real world changes on issues that matter to communities throughout the world, from disaster resilience to the support of individual business ventures.
“QUT is an entrepreneurial university with innovation as a value and entrepreneurship as a priority,” the university’s award submission states.
The QUT submission to the Triple E awards revealed more than 22,000 participants have engaged in extra-curricular entrepreneurial events since 2020, 14,450 undergraduates have undertaken entrepreneurship units across the university since 2018, more than 120 student startups have been created since 2020 and 18 budding entrepreneurs have received $8000 a year for three years in scholarships to pursue their entrepreneurial dream.
In 2023 two new degrees in entrepreneurship were launched, while the QUT Entrepreneurship team have engaged with 10 Queensland regions through the Queensland Connects program to support the development of their innovation ecosystem.
A long-term strategic collaboration between QUT and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is providing an immersive program for MBA and EMBA students with international exchanges to access global entrepreneurial networks.
The QUT Excolo! pitching competition is giving research students and staff the chance to share in $200,000 worth of prize money through pitching their commercialisation ideas. And QUT is home to the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research (ACE) whose members produce globally renowned research published in top-ranked journals.
Director of QUT Entrepreneurship, Associate Professor Glen Murphy, is one of more than 400 participants taking part in the awards event and four-day conference in Barcelona, where he will also present a paper on the importance of a holistic approach to embedding entrepreneurship within a higher education framework.
“Entrepreneurship really hit its straps in the last decade but rather than just supporting startups, at QUT we have hard coded entrepreneurship into our Connections strategic plan and appointed Professor Barrett, a recognised ecosystem leader, as Pro-Vice Chancellor, a senior executive role within the university to lead our efforts in this space,” Professor Murphy said.
“At QUT we recognise an entrepreneurial mindset is scalable across professions and this is why QUT has doubled down on supporting its entrepreneurial culture with programs across the student body, for staff and community.”
QUT competed against leading universities from Australia, New Zealand, China and India to take out the top award, including The University of Queensland, University of Auckland, Chitkara University in India and XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang), China.
Universities in America, Europe and Africa competed in their own regional awards on the night and a selection of universities also competed in five more international categories including Green University of the Year and Innovation and Entrepreneurship Team of the Year.