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Oana Codruta Gauca and Denisa Dragan

Abstract

This article is a study on the awareness and understanding of social entrepreneurship among students. Moreover, the article aims to emphasize the different meanings this buzz word has developed, whether it is the purpose of social entrepreneurship, the fields it activates in or the profit which should or should not be distributed. We aim to cover aspects of the definition of the social entrepreneurship field, as well as the ways in which students act as agents of change. The main research methodologies used except for literature review are interviews and case studies for several social business developed by students. The interviews are with no predetermined questions, in order to allow flexibility. The article wants to demonstrate that students are the emerging social entrepreneurs and important initiators of change in this field. In this regards, students should be educated and should develop skills within the universities programs, skills that are very specific compared to simple entrepreneurship. The main theoretical contribution to the field of education is the proven necessity that education facilities need to educate themselves. In order to create our future entrepreneurs as well as provide them with the skills set necessary to become entrepreneurs, education needs to become enterprising. The main practical contribution is the proof of students being involved in the change of society around them and main contributors to their environment.

Open access

Carmen Păunescu, Denisa Drăgan and Oana Găucă

Abstract

Developing the local, regional, even national communities is often central to a university’s mission. This is a two-way process and both society and university itself should benefit from this collaboration. Universities around the world have been in the past decades required to leave their ivory tower and to become more involved in addressing the needs of the society and thus more relevant for the communities which they serve. They are expected to take a leadership role in implementation of the required change by contributing to community development through knowledge, innovations, skills and jobs. By taking a leading role in society and continuously innovating, universities will support communities with achieving a sustainable growth and therefore will contribute to increasing the well-being of society at large. The current paper aims to assess the university obligations to society by analyzing 27 universities around the world best ranked in social responsibility according to QS Stars University Rating 2016. In the paper, we discuss the extent to which different attributes of the university social responsibility are reflected among the initiatives and projects run by the universities included in the study. Also, an exploratory factor analysis was employed to identify underlying variables that explain the pattern of correlations between university social responsibility initiatives. Following the QS Stars methodology, the dimensions used to evaluate social responsibility of sampled universities included: community investment and development, social work and disaster relief, regional human capital development, and environmental impact. The results show that the level of involvement in social responsibility actions is high for all the universities included in the study. Also, the types of initiatives vary in terms of nature, intensity and impact for each one of the dimensions analyzed. Our research findings offer useful insights for both universities’ leaders and community developers in their joint-efforts to develop and grow a prosperous community.

Open access

Carmen Păunescu, Oana Găucă and Denisa Drăgan Gilmeanu

Abstract

Universities have always been engines for the economy, in multiple roles they play, trying to adapt to the continual dynamic changes in the environment, to better align their offerings with the current expectations of the students, employers and society as a whole. Many of the jobs that are now developing on the market and still will develop, as well as the multiple roles that the graduates are asked to play in society, have never been on the agenda of the universities in the past, nor on the mind of the curriculum designers. The current paper aims to assess the university engagement with community by analyzing 27 world universities best ranked in social responsibility according to QS Stars University Ratings 2016. In the paper, we discuss the extent to which different attributes of the university social responsibility are reflected among the initiatives and projects run by the universities investigated. Also, we analyze correlations between university ranking in social responsibility and other rankings. Following the QS Stars methodology, the criteria used to evaluate social responsibility of selected universities included: community investment and development, social work and service in community, human capital development, environmental concern and impact, and other social responsibility actions. The results show that the degree of involvement of universities in social responsible initiatives varies broadly for each one of the dimensions analyzed, in terms of nature, intensity and impact of initiatives. Our research findings offer good insights for both universities’ leaders and community developers in their joint-efforts to develop and grow a prosperous community.