Bridging the Gap between University and Business: The ESAU Project

Néstor Lázaro,* Coordinator of the ESAU Project, Ana Bilbao-Goyoaga, Department of English and German Philology, Irene Barainca, Department of Financial Economy I, Pedro Gómez, Department of Financial Economy II, Izaskun Larrieta and Lorea Magureri, Department of Business Innovation and Management Assessment, Business School of Bilbao, University of the Basque Country, Spain

Abstract

Practice Firms Applied to University (ESAU) is a groundbreaking learning methodology in university education, with wide international projection and development. The Business School of Bilbao (University of the Basque Country – UPV/EHU) pioneers its implementation in Spain. Students participating in the ESAU project leave the conventional classroom to enter a company created and run by them in an international market. Under the motto “learning by doing, learning by working” this teaching tool rests on two methodological cornerstones: cooperative learning and learning based on problems or projects. Students thus become the main agents of their own learning, involved in the innovation process by facing situations of the real business world and collaborating in methodology design and improvement. We consider these key features that make the methodology bidirectional, dynamic, and customized to the particular needs of the team.

Keywords: business education, student engagement, problem-based learning


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