Entrepreneurial Orientation of Graduate Students in the University of Ibadan, South-West, Nigeria

Academic Paper, 2014

15 Pages, Grade: 5.0 (A)


Graduate unemployment in Nigeria is a chief cause of many social problems such as fraud, armed robbery and so on. Among the several reasons social researchers have listed as contributing factors to graduate unemployment, a lack of comprehensive curricula in the higher institutions has been pin-pointed to be crucial to the malaise of graduate unemployment. Entrepreneurship education if imbibed in the curricula of tertiary institutions would instill entrepreneurial behavior in students and graduates, which would further encourage graduates to become self-reliant and employers of labor. This study examined the levels of entrepreneurship orientation among graduate students in the University of Ibadan. The study made use of theories of planned behaviour and creativity and innovation theories . The sample was made up of 270 graduate students randomly drawn from six faculties of the University of Ibadan. Qualitative and quantitative data for the study were collected through the use of questionnaires and in-depth oral interviews. The result showed that majority of the respondents (78%) had never been exposed to entrepreneurship education upon the completion of their first degree. More than half of the respondents (55.6%) rated their level of entrepreneurial orientation as high, 31.4% rated it as moderate and the remaining 13.0% rated it as low. The paper asserts that graduate students are willing to become entrepreneurs if exposed to active entrepreneurship education - as they are cognizant of the benefits of being self-reliant and independent of the labor market.

Key words: Graduate students, entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurial orientation, entrepreneurship, unemployment.


One out of every five adults in Nigeria is unemployed and just one out of every ten university graduate gets a job (Okoh-Mesarawon, 2009). In Nigeria, graduates are largely produced for wage employment in the formal sector with no adequate entrepreneurship education and skill to be self-dependent. Therefore, the rationale for the inclusion of entrepreneurship curricula in tertiary institutions according to Cotton, O’Gorman and Stampfi, (2002) is that it will help graduates to acquire increased understanding of entrepreneurship, equip them with entrepreneurial approach to the world of work and prepare them to act as entrepreneurs and managers of new businesses.

However, before unemployment became a socio-economic problem in Nigeria, entrepreneurship education was advocated for to be integrated into the educational system in the mid 1980’s (Arogundade 2011). The economic crisis in lieu with the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) of the 1980’s led to the retrenchment of many workers and consequently economic depression. Thus, the entrepreneurship education which was supposed to have been a solution to the problem at hand was not fully implemented. Instead university graduates that would be reliant on the economy were created. Nwaoga (2012) argues that the lack of entrepreneurship education in the curricula of Nigerian universities has led to the wastage of human and natural resources.

Awogbenle and Iwuamadi (2010) pointed out that entrepreneurship can be a source of minimizing unemployment level and can boost economic growth. As it brings independence, offers higher financial returns and contributes towards betterment of economic structure of a nation. It is against this backdrop that this study investigates the entrepreneurial orientation of graduate students in the University of Ibadan.

The Problem

The period between graduation and employment dates has continued to lengthen and this has become a source of frustration for graduates. In the circumstance, it is obvious that the only viable option is self-employment. Unfortunately, entrepreneurship education in Nigerian universities is somewhat in its infancy. This is evident, as most universities have initiated entrepreneurship education programs in the hope that it will equip university graduates with skills necessary to start their own businesses, to be job creators, instead of job seekers (Oyebade, 2003; Ekpoh and Edet, 2011).

Chukwu and Igwe (2012) notes that youth unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate at 55.9% and 19.0% respectively, ranking Nigeria in the top tier as one of the countries with the highest rate of youth unemployment in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the last 20 years, the demand for education (especially higher education) has been on a geometric progression (Ajakaye, 1999). This is however not unconnected to the ever growing population of the country. Annually, hundreds of thousands of university graduates are churned out into the labor market with very few employment spaces available to them.

The youth population in Sub-Sahara Africa is estimated at 138 million people with 21.0% of them unemployed (ILO, 2004). There is also gender and spatial variation in unemployment across Sub-Saharan Africa. The unemployment rate for young women in Sub-Sahara Africa is 18.4% which is at a lower rate compared to the unemployment rate for young men at 23.1% considering that female participation in labor is lower. Also youth unemployment is lower in rural areas than in urban areas. Generally, the urban centers are home to major economic activities. Due to high rate of migration along with low economic opportunities as a result of low economic growth and investment, the urban centers feature more unemployed youths.

However, the prevalence of graduate unemployment, underemployment, high competition in the labor market and the frustration of job seekers cannot be overemphasized. About 80.0% of Nigerian graduates are unemployed and about 10.0% are underemployed (Dike, 2009; Chinasa, 2012). The demand for labor is a direct reflection of the economic status of a country. Graduate unemployment in this sense is a function of a country’s economic performance. With the global economy melt-down, graduate unemployment has been speculated to reach an all-time high this decade (ILO, 2004).

With the increase in the number of universities and resultant number of graduates produced every year, it is worthy to note that the number of unemployed graduates will increase coupled with the existing number of unemployed youths who have graduated for more than 5 years and above with neither any source of income nor employment. Thus, if the trend of unemployment must be reduced, there must be a proper re-assessment of the university curriculum to incorporate entrepreneurship education in University academic programs. With the foregoing, this study addresses three broad questions. First, what is the general perception of graduate students on entrepreneurship education? Secondly, what are graduate students’ levels of entrepreneurial orientation? And lastly, are there relationships between the levels of entrepreneurial orientation and variables such as sex, place of first degree and academic discipline?

Brief review of literature

Entrepreneurship is an act of using personal or acquired skills to create wealth or job opportunities in the society. Historically, economists have supported the view that entrepreneurship is responsible for economic expansion due to its association with profit orientation, capital investment and the creation of new markets. Thus, governmental units, society, and educational institutions worldwide have documented that the individual entrepreneur is critical in the development of new business ventures (Peterson and Kennedy, 2003). Nigeria is documented as a country populated with a significant number of small business enterprises in West-Africa (Federal Office of Statistics, 2000). In reference to the number of businesses, their proportion of employment and GDP in 2006 was approximately 1.8 million small business enterprises in a population of approximately 140 million residents. Nevertheless, entrepreneurship as an academic discipline in the last decade was considered as relatively new although its origin can be traced back to the seventeenth century, when economist Richard Cantillon (1680-1734) defined the risk bearer as ‘ entrepreneur’.

The individual entrepreneur has been studied in numerous research works using a variety of different methodologies and yet, arriving at the conclusion that one psychological profile or definition of the entrepreneur has been a seemingly impossible task especially among young graduate (Low and MacMillan, 1998). Thus, the psychological approach in entrepreneurship research has moved away from the investigation of personality traits alone, to the exploration of behavior, motivation and cognition. Research into the motivation and cognitions of entrepreneurs is an approach that attempts to understand more about the antecedents to entrepreneurial behavior than the personality characteristics /profile of entrepreneurs. Studies considering individuals’ entrepreneurial intentions possess more recent approaches to understanding the entrepreneurial process and have been adopted by several authors (Krueger, 2004; Peterson and Kennedy, 2003; Zhao, 2005). An individual’s entrepreneurial intention claims to be a moderate predictor of future entrepreneurial behavior. Understanding the antecedents of entrepreneurial intentions increases our understanding of intended entrepreneurial behavior. Accordingly, entrepreneurial intentions helps explain why many entrepreneurs decide to start a business even before they begin an opportunity search (Krueger et al., 2000).

Effects of Entrepreneurial Orientation on Entrepreneurial Intentions

According to Shane (2003), entrepreneurial orientation concerns the entrepreneur’s reasons for entrepreneurial decision, background information (for example education, work experience or training) and his/her personality (for example self-efficacy expressed as attitude or ability and self-confidence). It is a decision making process measured by an individual’s risk propensity. Peterson and Kennedy, 2003 and Kuzilwa (2005) noted that the reasons for entrepreneurial decision are often regarded as the pull factors in entrepreneurial activity. The need for achievement and autonomy, risk taking, control of business and self-efficacy are vital characteristics for entrepreneurial intentions (Shane, 2003).

Literature confirms that skill training and tertiary education has positive relationship with entrepreneurs’ performance, especially women (Akanji, 2006; Cheston and Kuhn, 2002; Kuzilwa, 2005). Many entrepreneurs in developing countries lack this especially women (Ibru, 2009), whereas the exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunity depends on the entrepreneur’s level of education, skills or knowledge acquired through work experience, social network and credit (Shane, 2003). Self-confidence is also related to entrepreneurial behavior. For example, self-confidence was found to have a moderating influence on the relationship between loan access, entrepreneurial opportunity and women entrepreneurs’ sales performance in Nigeria (Ekpe et al, 2011). Other studies such as Kuzilwa (2005), Shastri and Sinha (2010), concluded that the possession of education, right attitude to risk, motivation and working experience aside social environment may hinder identification and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunity.

The University’s Role in Promoting Entrepreneurship Orientation

Universities play a functional role in promoting entrepreneurship education to develop regional and society economies (Bink 2006; Mitchell 2004). Majumdar (2008) agrees the remarks by stating that schools and universities have a key role to play in promoting entrepreneurship since educational institutions are ideally considered the place in shaping entrepreneurial cultures and aspirations among students while they are studying to survive in today’s robust business milieu (Autio, Keeley, Klofsten, Ulfstedt 2001). Universities, in this respect, should position themselves as a hub of entrepreneurship by making substantial contributions in nurturing an entrepreneurial environment that combines factors that contribute to the development of entrepreneurship. As a provider of entrepreneurship training programs, universities must do all it can to create an entrepreneurially supportive environment that could encourage entrepreneurial activity which would in turn help to develop an enterprise culture among university students who are tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.

Cheston and Kuhn (2002) assert that entrepreneurial curriculum develops differently across universities, either as an optional module within business courses or a specific course on entrepreneurship. Leena and Wong (2003) in his study on entrepreneurship education in England found that entrepreneurship teaching and courses are generally classified into two approaches: courses for entrepreneurship and courses about entrepreneurship. The decisions on teaching methodologies in entrepreneurship courses are therefore influenced by the aim of the educational objective. To produce students who are capable of dealing with real entrepreneurial activity or to transform students’ entrepreneurial competencies to practical way is closely centered on courses for entrepreneurship. On the other hand courses about entrepreneurship are concerned with teaching entrepreneurship as a required subject in the syllabus via traditional methods (Mitchell, 2004). Thus, the major challenge of entrepreneurship in relation to education is the appropriateness of curriculum and teaching methods in developing students’ entrepreneurial competencies and skills (Edelman and Yli’renko, 2010).

Entrepreneurial Behaviors and Perceptions

Research advocates that the success of entrepreneurship as a process can be highly attributed to attitudes towards this process. Attitudes play a critical role in shaping innovation and behavior of individuals. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) global report (Bosma and Levie, 2009) define entrepreneurial attitudes as attitudes towards entrepreneurship. It is about the extent to which people think there are good opportunities for starting a business. Attitudes play an important role in establishing entrepreneurial activity within a population. The attitudes relevant to entrepreneurship includes willingness to bear the level of risk that individuals might be willing to bear and individuals perceptions of their own skills, knowledge, and experience in business creation. Entrepreneurial attitudes can influence entrepreneurial activity, but can also be influenced by entrepreneurial activity. Entrepreneurial attitudes are important because they express the general feelings of the population toward entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship.

More important is that if the national attitudes toward entrepreneurship are positive, this will generate cultural support, help, financial resources, and networking benefits to those who are already entrepreneurs or want to start a business (Bosma and Levie, 2009). Nybakk and Hansen (2008) noted that there are two important elements of entrepreneurial attitudes, namely the ability to recognize opportunities and the ability to take calculated risk. It is further argued that people with entrepreneurial attitudes are more likely to start-up new business activities. This implies that risk-takers are more likely to initiate a new activity and risk attitude affects the selection of individuals into entrepreneurial positions.

Driven by desire, the entrepreneur initiates a set of actions to transform an idea to an opportunity and perception into a company; therefore, actions of an entrepreneur are mainly driven by subjective “productive opportunity”. Opportunity in this context is viewed as a set of subjective expectations of what the entrepreneur thinks can be accomplished and these expectations are mainly driven by entrepreneurial ideas and images of the environment and they determine an entrepreneur’s behavior. The perceptions of the market opportunity therefore drive the entrepreneur’s efforts to start a new venture; the greater the perceived opportunity the more likely an entrepreneur will aggressively pursue that opportunity (Edelman and Yli-Renko, 2010).

Theoretical framework

For the purpose of this study, two theories were employed to explain entrepreneurship – Theory of planned behavior and Creativity and Technological Innovation Theory. As it has been previously explained that attitude is paramount in shaping the behavior of people towards entrepreneurship, the theory of planned behavior is engaged to explain the factors and variables transforming attitudes to behavior or action. On the other hand, in explaining the rationale behind risk taking which is core to entrepreneurship, the creativity and technological innovation theory will be employed.

The theory of planned behavior according to Ajzen and Fishbein (1980) is suitable for the prediction of volitional actions; the theory posits that intentions are the immediate antecedents of behavior and that these intentions are determined by attitudes towards the behavior and by subjective norms. However, attitude is the tendency to evaluate performance of the behavior favorably or unfavorably and the subjective norms represent the perceived social pressure to engage in the behavior.

The theory states that intentions are the best predictors of behavior; as such entrepreneurial intentions become the central point in understanding entrepreneurial process (Kruger, 2004). The performance of a particular behavior also depends on other non-motivational factors such as availability of opportunities and resources like money, time, skills and cooperation of other people. This represents actual control over the behavior. That is, the performance of behavior is a joint function of intention and perceived behavioral control (Ajzen, 1991). Therefore, entrepreneurial intentions model is employed to investigate the moderating effect of social environment on the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and entrepreneurial intention.

The Creativity and Technological Innovation theory posits that an entrepreneur is a creative problem solver, interested in things in the practical and technological realms and driven by a duty to achieve. Hagen states that the creative personality of an individual is characterized as a high need for achievement, law, order and autonomy. He perceives economic development as ecological process brought about by technological creativity and innovation by entrepreneurs. He thus opines that the entrepreneur is a creative problem solver interested in solving practical problems, mostly through the application of creative technology. The theory postulates that entrepreneurial ability to succeed depends internal control center; as successful entrepreneurs believe in themselves and do not attribute success or failure to fate, luck or other similar forces. In their opinion, failure and success are under their control and they hold themselves accountable for their performance (Shane, 2003).

The desire of a creative entrepreneur is among other things the need for independence which is one of the characteristics, which is emphasized as a very stimulating force. In fact, need for independence is defined by phrases like: “having control over one's own destiny”, “doing something for oneself” and “being one's own boss” (Zhao, 2005). On this note, Hagen noted that some entrepreneurs are energized by the obsessive desire to make a unique contribution to mankind; (Hagen as cited by Okpara, 2000). This desire is facilitated by the innate ability of the entrepreneur to create new ideas; these ideas might lead to new products or services (Vob and Muller, 2009) using existing technology to break-even. However, for the entrepreneur to be successful and creative in his/her pursuits, he/she must cultivate the ability to accept uncertainties as a part of life, ability to survive with incomplete knowledge about environment and tendency to start an independent activity, regardless of knowing whether he/she will succeed or not.


The study was conducted in the University of Ibadan, Oyo state, Southwestern Nigeria. The University of Ibadan was established in 1948 and is within the Ibadan North Local Government. Data were collected using both qualitative and quantitative techniques for reciprocity and strength. A multi-stage sampling method was adopted for the quantitative data collection. The University of Ibadan was stratified into six broad strata, each stratum representing a faculty. In all faculties, a total of 12 departments were randomly selected. The Taro Yamane sample size calculation was used to select 300 respondents out of a total of 8703 postgraduate students admitted in the 2011/2012 session. However, 270 questionnaires were returned, representing a return rate of 99%. Ten in-depth interviews (IDIs) were conducted with different respondents using non-probabilistic method of availability and purposiveness.

The quantitative data were edited and cleaned to remove inconsistencies that could render them ambiguous and challenge validity. Data generated from pre-coded, open ended and fixed choice questions were analyzed with the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). A descriptive analysis of data was carried out using univariate frequency distribution and cross-tabulation of variables, whose associated influence impact strongly on the study. The qualitative data were analyzed using manual content analysis. The procedure began with the transcription and translation of tape recordings from the in-depth interviews. The next step involved the exclusion of responses that were related to the research objectives. This method ensured that aspects of qualitative data were included in the analysis only on the basis of their relevance to the research.

Results and Discussion

Socio-economic and Demographic Characteristics of Respondents

Table 1 displays information of selected socio-economic and demographic profiles of respondents. About 56% of the respondents fell between 21-30 years, followed by age bracket of 31-40years which accounted for 25.7%, while 7.4% have their ages below 20 years, as those with ages 41 – 50 years and above 50 years accounted for 7.3% and 3.7% respectively. The sex distribution indicates the majority (64.1%) as male and 35.9% were female respondents. Also, majority of the participants were single (60.0%), 25.0% of them were married while the remaining 10.0% are shared among divorces/separated and Widow/Widower. Half of the respondents (50.0%) got their first degree from state universities, 30.0% from federal universities, 5.0% from private universities while the remaining 15.0% from other tertiary institutions such as polytechnics, colleges of education, etc. Almost half of the respondents (44.8%) were between the monthly allowance of N21,000 – N30,999 while those that earned less than N20,000 made up 33.7%. Respondents with income between N31,000 – N40,999 and N41,000 – N50,999 and constituted 7.4% and 6.7% respectively while income earners above N50, 000 accounted for 7.4% as their monthly allowance.

Table 1: Distribution of the Respondents’ Socio-economic and Demographic characteristics

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Fieldwork (2013)

The religious status shows that about 53.7% of the respondents were Christians and 44.4% were Muslims while, 1.9% accounted for those who practiced other types of religion different from the ones specified. Not surprising, more than half of the respondents are affiliated to the Yoruba ethnic group representing 59.3% of the sample population, knowing that the University of Ibadan is located in the Southwestern part of Nigeria which is largely dominated by the Yoruba ethnic group. However, 29.3% of the respondents are of Igbo extraction, 1.9% made up the Hausa ethnic group and the remaining 9.6% were made up of other ethnic extractions.

Graduate students’ perception of entrepreneurship

Table 2 shows the perception of graduates towards entrepreneurship. Majority of the responses (77.8%) from the graduate students indicate strongly agreed and agreed that they are ready to learn a job to complement their first degree compared to the 5.9% of them who strongly disagreed and 16.3% of the respondents who disagreed. Responding to whether entrepreneurship had been taught in their places of first degree; 46.7% disagreed; 31.1% strongly disagreed while the remaining proportion of 22.2% was shared between the respondents that strongly agreed and agreed to the question. When asked whether they had friends who were successful entrepreneurs; 47.4% strongly agreed while 42.2% agreed. On the other hand, the remaining proportion of 10.4% was equally distributed amongst the respondents that disagreed and strongly disagreed. A little above half of the respondents (52.6%) strongly agreed to have tried to be self-employed instead of waiting to be an employee; 15.6% agreed to the same question; while those who disagreed and strongly disagreed accounted for 11.1% and 20.7% respectively.

Further probing revealed that respondents signified interests in getting engaged in entrepreneurship rather than being idle. Their responses are as follows: 60.0% strongly agreed; 22.6% agreed; 11.1% disagreed and 6.3% strongly disagreed. Also, more than half of the respondents (57.0) strongly agreed; 16.3% agreed; 21.1% disagreed and 5.6% strongly disagreed that having one entrepreneur business after school education is good. On the question of making entrepreneurial education compulsory for graduate students, half of the respondents (50.7%) strongly agreed while 14.4% agreed. On the other hand 20.4% disagreed and 14.4% strongly disagreed. As for those who preferred to become an employer of labor than an employee; 43.0% of the respondents went for strongly agreed; 31.9% agreed; 12.6% disagreed and 5.0% strongly disagreed. In fact, some of the responses on aspiration to become a creative entrepreneur indicated that 34.7% strongly agreed; 37.8% agreed; 12.2% disagreed and 12.9% strongly disagreed.

As regards entrepreneurship education enhancing individual’s skills acquisition 54.8% of the graduate strongly agreed; 19.3% agreed to the statement while 20.7% and 5.2% disagreed and strongly disagreed respectively. Less than half of the respondents (38.2%) strongly agreed that entrepreneurship education enhances individual’s competence in business, while 31.5% agreed; 17.0% disagreed and 13.3% strongly disagreed. In terms of the intensity of university to start up entrepreneur activity 44.4% strongly agreed, 31.5% agreed; 13.0% disagreed and 11.1% strongly disagreed. It was confirmed that entrepreneurial orientation of any university has a robust positive effect on graduates becoming self- employed as nearly half of the respondents (44.4%) went for strongly agreed and 41.5% for agreed; the remaining 15.2% was shared among those that went for disagree and strongly disagreed. As for entrepreneurial orientation to begin at an early stage and well-coordinated by the school management more than half (55.5%) responded to strongly agree; 29.6% went for agree; while 8.5% disagreed and 6.2% strongly disagreed.

As further shown in Table 2, for those who said university entrepreneurship orientation will have a crucial impact on graduates’ occupational choice recorded; 39.3% selected strongly agree; 32.6% went for agree; 15.9% disagreed and 12.2% strongly disagreed. In assessing whether entrepreneurial opportunity recognition should be encouraged by graduate students, more than half of the respondents (60.4%) strongly agreed; 21.9% agreed; while 11.5% disagreed and 6.2% strongly disagreed. Answering to whether mobilization of entrepreneurship related initiative by university contributed to graduates’ success in business, more than half (52.6%) strongly agreed; 16.3% agreed; 21.4% disagreed and 6.7% strongly disagreed. In examining whether entrepreneurship skills boosting self-esteem in the society; 29.6% went for strongly agree; 40.0% for agree; 11.1% disagreed and 19.3% strongly disagreed. Finally, respondents who indicated whether entrepreneurs are the future hope of this nation reported as follows: 42.9% for strongly agree; 41.5% for agree; 5.2% disagreed and 10.4% strongly disagreed.

Table 2: Perception of Graduate students towards Entrepreneurship

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Fieldwork (2013)

Graduate students’ levels of entrepreneurial orientation

Table 3 presents the perceived levels of entrepreneurial orientation of the graduate students. More than half of the respondents 55.6% rated their level of entrepreneurial orientation as high, while 31.4% of them rated their level of entrepreneurial orientation as moderate and remaining 13.0% of the respondents rated it as low.

Table 3: Distribution of graduate students’ levels of entrepreneurial orientation

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Fieldwork (2013)

In respect to investigating the levels of entrepreneurial orientation, questions bordering on it were asked during the in-depth interviews. A 33-year old student of sociology said:

In Nigeria Universities, entrepreneurship education is still at its infancy, thus, the level of awareness is averagely low, but with the recent initiatives by some of the tertiary institutions, there has been an effort put forward to establish how important entrepreneurship skills and knowledge can be imbibed so as to raise intentions of students towards becoming entrepreneurs.


Entrepreneurial orientation according to sex, Place of first degree and Academic discipline

The study also investigated the relationships between the levels of entrepreneurial orientation and variables such as sex, place of first degree and academic discipline. This is to show whether one’s sex, place of first degree or academic discipline has an influence on one’s level of entrepreneurial orientation. The results are stated below:

Table 4: Sex and level of entrepreneurial orientation

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten = 0.173; df = 2; Asymp. Sig. (2-sided) = 0.917; p > 0.05.

In examining the level of entrepreneurial orientation across sex, the table above shows that a higher percentage of male graduate students (35.8%) reported to having a high level of entrepreneurial orientation as against their female counterparts; with 19.7% of them reporting to having a high level of orientation. In the same vein, 8.5% of the respondents that rated their level of entrepreneurial orientation as low are of the male sex as against 4.4% of their female counterpart. Lastly, there were more male (19.7%) than female respondents (11.9%) from the total population of 31.4% who rated their level of orientation as moderate.

The chi-square analysis (Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten = 0.173; df = 2; Asymp. Sig. (2-sided) = 0.917; p > 0.05); reveals that there is no significant relationship between one’s sex and the level of entrepreneurial orientation. This simply means that one’s sex does not guarantee one’s level of orientation; thus entrepreneurial orientation is not a function of sex. This finding contradicts Brana (2008) who asserts that women in developing countries lack entrepreneurial training. The lack of entrepreneurial training therefore would be present as a result of opportunity or one’s exposure, willingness or attitude and not necessarily as a result of one’s sex.

Table 5: Place of 1st Degree and level of entrepreneurial orientation

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten = 20.598; df = 6; Asymp. Sig. (2-sided) = 0.002; p < 0.05.

The table above illustrates the level of entrepreneurial orientation according to the respondents’ places of first degree. The result states that the highest percentage of respondents who reported to having a high level of entrepreneurial orientation are from State Universities (27.4%), followed by respondents from Federal Universities accounting for 19.2%. Respondents from Private universities have the least percentage (3.3%) followed by respondents from other tertiary institutions accounting for 5.6% of the total population of respondents that rated their level of entrepreneurial orientation as high. However, the highest percentage of respondents who rated their level of entrepreneurial orientation as low are from federal universities (5.5%), followed by respondents from state universities (4.8%); and 1.8% and 1.1% being represented by respondents from other tertiary institutions and private universities respectively.

The chi-square analysis (Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten = 20.598; df = 6; Asymp. Sig. (2-sided) = 0.002; p < 0.05) shows that there is an association between respondents’ place of first degree and their level of orientation. From the results, it can be asserted that state universities have provisions for entrepreneurial education in their curricula because the highest percentage of respondents that reported to having a high level of entrepreneurial orientation were from state universities. According to Cheston and Kuhn (2002), entrepreneurial curriculum develops differently according to institutions; so also does its adoption and enforcement; as it can be argued that courses on entrepreneurship may be optional depending on the faculty and level of study. Whatever the case, universities and other institutions of higher learning should be channels that foster entrepreneurship. As Autio et al (2001) argue that the university setting is the most influential factor that affects students’ perceptions towards entrepreneurial career and entrepreneurial convictions.

Table 6: Academic discipline and level of entrepreneurial orientation

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten = 15.106; df = 6; Asymp. Sig. (2-sided) = 0.019; p < 0.05.

In examining, the respondents’ level of entrepreneurial orientation according to their respective academic disciplines, the table above reveals that respondents from the faculties of Sciences and Technology combined (which consists of Physics, Computer Science, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering) accounted for 19.7% from the total of 55.6% of the respondents that reported to having a high level of entrepreneurial orientation. Respondents from the faculty of Social sciences (which consists of Economics and Sociology) accounted for 14.0% of those that reported to having a high level of entrepreneurial orientation, 13.7% of the respondents were from the faculties of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine combined (which consists of Agronomy, Agricultural Economics and Veterinary Medicine) while the remaining 8.2% consisted of respondents from the faculty of education (which consists of Teacher and Adult Education). Also, from the 13.0% of the total population that reported to having a low level of entrepreneurial orientation, respondents from the faculties of Social Sciences, Education and Agricultural Sciences/Veterinary Medicine had the same percentage of 2.2% equally, while the remaining 6.3% of the respondents were from the faculties of Sciences/Technology.

The chi-square analysis (Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten = 15.106; df = 6; Asymp. Sig. (2-sided) = 0.019; p < 0.05) shows that there is a relationship between the respondents’ academic disciplines and their level of entrepreneurial orientation. This simply shows that one’s course of study in the university can influence one’s level of entrepreneurial orientation.

Conclusions and Recommendations

The reality of graduate unemployment is shocking. Each year, hundreds of thousands of graduates are produced in Nigerian universities, with little to no chance of getting employed. To make matters worse, most of these graduates are educated and trained to be reliant on the economy and not fully self-sufficient. According to Okafor (2007), data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) estimate the rate of unemployment within the age bracket of 15 to 64 years at 5.30% as at the end of 2006. The CBN data further showed that youth employment within the age range of 15 to 24 years was at 14.0% in 2006.

Over the years, the Nigerian government has attempted and failed to link education with entrepreneurship. At the dawn of independence, the Ashby commission was set up to review earlier educational policy, so as to make provisions for the production of manpower that will replace the vacancy created by the colonialists. In 1973, a committee was set up to deliberate on all the aspects of national policy on education which marks the first linkage between education and entrepreneurship, however, the issue of self-employment was not given enough attention. Rather, the higher educational policy concerned itself mainly with the development of high level manpower (Aladekomo, 2004). Till date, educational policies have been inadequately enforced and thus, the Nigerian higher institutions have failed to see the link between education and entrepreneurship especially in ways whereby it can curtain the menace of graduate unemployment and promote self-employment.

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are being suggested.

- The university community should serve as an avenue to provide more support services to encourage graduates becoming entrepreneurs.
- University community should be trail blazer in shaping entrepreneurial cultures and aspirations among students.
- Mobilization of entrepreneurship related initiatives by university will go a long way in making positive contributions to graduates success in business.
- Clarion call to government to involve graduates in her entrepreneurship development programs so that the problem of unemployment could be reduced to the barest minimum.
- Government should create an economically conducive environment whereby decisions and policies put in place will be a driving force to correct graduate unemployment in the society.
- Training of educated individuals and youth empowerment with creative problem-solving skills will be useful in the development of sound human capital required for national development.
- Entrepreneurial opportunity recognition should be provided at the university and encouraged by the graduate students.


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Entrepreneurial Orientation of Graduate Students in the University of Ibadan, South-West, Nigeria
University of Ibadan
5.0 (A)
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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Graduate students, entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurial orientation, entrepreneurship, unemployment
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Ajibola Omoarebun (Author), 2014, Entrepreneurial Orientation of Graduate Students in the University of Ibadan, South-West, Nigeria, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/283008


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