Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Designing for agency and entrepreneurship through opening up education


The globalised media and knowledge society of the 21st century demands for citizens who are self-determined life-long learners possessing a critical consciousness. Acknowledging criticism of instructional teaching, knowledge transfer, and a disconnected education system, the project aims to study student agency and entrepreneurship through opening up education. Agency is explored as the ability of individuals to achieve their potential to act in society where entrepreneurship takes the process of acting towards the creation of value. We propose to research the ways in which individuals achieve agency through education and examine the opportunities to design education that enhances agency and entrepreneurship


The project will explore how to support and nurture learner agency and entrepreneurship through open educational formats. The objectives of the project are to:

  • study and design educational activities for agency in a globalised media and knowledge society.
  • study and design educational activities, where all of the key actors including students, teachers, researchers and external partners are co-creators and mutually engaged in society.
  • develop a theoretical understanding of open educational formats as an everyday social and cultural practice, transgressing the borders of formal and informal settings.

Research questions

  • How can digital media support agency and entrepreneurship in open educational formats?
  • How can teachers, researchers, students, external partners and other practices open up education to support agency?
  • How are the relations between teachers and students challenged and developed by the notions of agency, empowerment and entrepreneurship?
  • How can we understand learner agency beyond formal and informal settings?
  • How does the absence of agency affect the experience of being a student?