The Enterprise in Higher Education (EHE) initiative was a programme of work within higher education institutions (HEIs), funded by the Employment Department, and subsequently the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE), from 1987 until 1996. It aimed to establish and embed the concept and practice of enterprise within universities, and to increase the effectiveness of higher education (HE) in preparing students for working life.

EHE was a response to concerns that HE was failing to provide graduates who were employment or enterprise oriented. Attention was focused on the need for effective supply of higher skills into the workforce; on the employability of graduates; and on the role of personal or transferable skills in making graduates effective contributors at work. Although based on funding for individual institutions, the ultimate aim was to influence the culture and practice of HE, across sectoral, institutional and disciplinary divides.

York Consulting Limited (YCL) were commissioned to undertake the final evaluation of EHE. The aims of the evaluation were to assess the extent and nature of the continuation and embedding of EHE principles, to discuss the impact of the twinning and networking initiatives, and to produce a summary of the legacy and lessons of EHE and an overall assessment of its impact and value. The aim was to achieve a qualitative assessment, rather than a statistical study, as the subject matter focused on processes or outcomes which were rarely easily measurable.


  • Key findings
  • Methodology
  • The delivery of EHE
  • Non-funded institutions
  • Continuation strategies
  • Embedding
  • Impact
  • Value
  • Limitations
  • The lessons of EHE