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IS THE UNIVERSITY ABLE TO INCREASE THE EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE OF THE STUDENTS?

I. González-Álvarez, M. González-Álvarez, M. Bermejo

Universidad Miguel Hernandez (SPAIN)
In the process of convergence towards the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), among other issues, these stand out: the methodological renovation and the adoption of a teaching pattern focused on the development of competences. There are two types of competences: specific competences based on the acquisition of knowledge and skills to get the degree and transversal competences which have a more holistic mean and involve “social skills”. The development of transversal or transferable competences is currently considered a very important key ingredient of the outcomes of Higher Education. These transversal competences are identified with the called “emotional intelligence and include the abilities as interact with heterogeneous groups, empathize, co-operate, manage and solve conflicts, to be able to manage a group.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) implies knowing yourself and your feelings so well you are able to manage them effectively at any moment in any given situation. Employers today consider personal qualities such as initiative, empathy, adaptability and persuasiveness to be every bit as important as concrete industry and technical knowledge. Today companies worldwide routinely look through the lens of EI in hiring, promoting, and developing their employees.
Emotional intelligence can be acquired or enhanced with an accurate formation and managed activities proposed by the different teachers. Due to the modern plans of study of the Universities try to develop the emotional intelligence of the students, students that obtain their degree must possess all these described skills.
Our research team has evaluated the evolution of the emotional intelligence of the students since the first year until the last year of their degree. Participants completed questionnaires on emotional intelligence and a comparative study was performed. Results indicate only a little increase of the emotional intelligence after university studies