INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATIVE SKILLS IN THE TRAINING OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERS: A CASE-STUDY ON STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS
Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:On the midst of a new digital revolution – also known as Industry 4.0 – significant changes on technological, economic and social systems are expected. This leads to a wide range of yet unknown challenges related to future work contexts, as to the skills needed to survive in these somewhat unforeseen environments. Considering the disruptive changes driven by such set of events, it shows to be important to acquire dedicated skills that may allow future workers to communicate in global interconnected digital networks and environments, as these are some of the few certain requirements known to be imposed by the Industry 4.0 digital revolution.
To such end, current Higher Education institutions need to prepare their students to be the future workforce with the required intercultural communicative skills, allowing them to adapt and function in such cutting-edge environments. In this framework, special focus has to be dedicated to engineering students, as they are the first to use and adapt the digital technologies to the new standards of the Industry 4.0 revolution.
In order to understand the engineering students’ perceptions and points of view on their ability to work and function in the near future digital revolution workplaces, a dedicated project was carried-out with Industrial Engineering students at a local Portuguese Polytechnic Institute in the city of Castelo Branco, involving a 5-year span of undergraduate students.
Keywords: Higher Education, Technology, Industry 4.0, Industrial Engineering, Digital Revolution.