Successful Events

University of Aberdeen’s link to European movement on Fair Education

The University of Aberdeen’s Scottish Programme for Entrepreneurship (SPE) is proud to have hosted the first UK What-IF (intergenerational fairness) conference.

The name What-IF works in two ways, the first stems from the question of, “What (will happen) IF...”. On the other side, it provides the answer to global problems, seeking solutions to demonstrate Intergenerational Fairness. What-IF uses the simple assumption of an Intergenerationally Fair perspective to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

The first conference focused on Intergenerational Fairness in Education. Attendees included local school pupils, teachers, students, College and University lecturers and representatives from the business community.  Through facilitated discussion and workshop activities, participants were lead through the What-IF concept using creative thinking to apply Intergenerational Fairness to Education.  These activities identified issues or challenges in education, and provided opportunities to develop innovative plans of action designed to make outcomes sustainable.

Over the next two years the SPE programme will continue to work with young people and offer training and continuous professional development (CPD) activities for teachers and lecturers at all stages of the education sector.  Further What-IF and Intergenerational Fairness events are planned for the 2011-2012 teaching year.

Lesley Hetherington, Director of SPE said: “This event marks a milestone in the SPE programme at the University of Aberdeen.  It is a privilege to be at the forefront of enterprise and entrepreneurial education in Scotland. This joint conference will bring, for the very first time, the European What-IF concept and process to representatives from all sectors of Scottish education”.


Case Study Teaching at its best

The University of Aberdeen’s Scottish Programme for Entrepreneurship (SPE) was proud to host Professor Simon Parker from the University of Western Ontario, who lead an engaging Master-class on Case Study Teaching and Learning to representatives from 13 Colleges, representatives from industry and the university sector across Scotland.

The day, for educators in the college sector, was SPE’s first cross-college event. Professor Parker delivered an interactive master-class allowing the participants the opportunity to engage, learn and gain confidence in facilitating case studies in their own classes to the various levels that they teach. Participants, covering a range of subjects and backgrounds in case study teaching commented on the “enjoyable and informative content” and the “excellent delivery” from Professor Parker. Professor Parker is a resident Professor at the Richard Ivey School of Business at

the University of Western Ontario. He is a keen advocate of case study teaching, because it allows for a deeper and much more interesting and memorable learning experience for the student.

Over the next two years the programme will continue to offer training and continuous professional development (CPD) activities for teaching staff, currently working in the college sector.  Staff from any discipline who wish to develop and enhance their ability to deliver enterprise and entrepreneurship learning to their students can contact us.

Lesley Hetherington, Director of SPE said: “The event was a great success and an excellent foundation from which to build on the existing competence in facilitating entrepreneurship in Scotland’s College Sector.”



ABZWISE - Professional women from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical backgrounds (STEM)

This pilot programme is a joint initiative between the team at Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge and the Scottish Programme for Entrepreneurship based in the University of Aberdeen. The event was created in order to build a resource bank of facilitators and speakers to deliver enterprise programmes for women from science, engineering, technology and mathematical backgrounds.  It gave the opportunity for active networking between business women, female entrepreneurs, academic staff, educators and PhD students. 


Facilitators Shima Barakat (CfEL) and Lesley Hetherington (SPE) led the participants through two days of facilitating for entrepreneurship and networking. Milena Stoycheva introduced the participants to WhatIF (Intergenerational Fairness) a movement coming from Europe that underpins the importance of making the  The University of Cambridge has, for many years, run customised enterprise programmes for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and have found those programmes to be highly impactful and uniquely different from mixed gender enterprise programmes for the following reasons:

  • Stronger networks developed

  • Greater outreach

  • Deeper levels of support

  • Inspiring to new generations

  • Support science and technology business driven by female entrepreneurs.

Bringing these above benefits to the north-east of Scotland and the University of Aberdeen, we aim to strengthen and extend the impact of women with STEM expertise, specialism and experience.


From left to right: Milena Stoycheva (Juniour Achievement / WhatIF), Lesley Hetherington (SPE), Shima Barakat (CfEL) and Frances Bycroft (CfEL)



If you would like to participate in future ABZWISE events and know of other eligible candidates, please contact Linda on We look forward to hearing from you.

Resources from the weekend: