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The Entrepreneurial University


Teesside University: the EDGE Programme

WLO’S Chris Baker has been working with Teesside University to develop and deliver a programme that promotes change and innovation. The result is the EDGE programme that was piloted with 11 participants between October 2018 and June 2019 and is continuing in 2021, albeit at a distance.   The participants are mainly, but not exclusively, academics drawn from across the different schools. Please see the 2018 – 2019 Teesside EDGE Evaluation Report.

About the programme

In many organisations, including universities, development opportunities tend to be focused on senior managers and leaders. The assumption being that they have both the power and resources to initiate change. EDGE is different. It takes as its starting point the view that making change from below is an effective way of changing both the culture and promoting innovation from which the organisation can learn.

Aims of the programme

  • Share an understanding of how enterprise and entrepreneurship are relevant to innovation and change in the university sector.
  • Explore ways in which learning, teaching and research can benefit from an entrepreneurial approach.
  • Develop and apply entrepreneurial thinking and solutions to current challenges they face.
  • Review the ways in which their own career development can benefit from becoming more enterprising.


As part of the programme, members of the University’s Board of Governors have mentored participants. EDGE culminated with a series of presentations to the annual Staff Conference on the 18 June 2019.  The group now form a cohort of change agents who will continue to meet and work together.

A few of the positive things participants said

“Teesside EDGE was fab, fantastic. Exactly what it said it was going to be. It made me think about change differently, in a better way,  It put the University culture, and that of other HEIs in context. We all work so narrowly focused on doing our job and being on the programme gave us time and space to look outside at the wider world and life our heads up. This helped us identify where we fit and how we are put together and where we are heading.”

“Chris has great knowledge of the HE sector, I’m highly respectful of his knowledge and expertise.”

“Chris was great, built rapport and has got a good way about him.  There were lots of big characters there and he made sure to mix us up so we all worked with everybody else. He wasn’t frightened to challenge us or be challenged himself.”

For more information, read the university’s Evaluation of the Edge 2019 programme .