1 Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave (PORTUGAL)
2 University of Minho (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN20 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Page: 860
ISBN: 978-84-09-17979-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2020.0300
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
In Higher Education, much has been said and written about the importance of graduates having a set of skills centered on transversal and technical competences, so that they can be better prepared to answer to the labor market’ challenges. Although the greater visibility transversal competences have obtained in the recent years, they still have little impact in the context of higher education. Research in this field had been developed in this perspective, but its focus is essentially on how to evaluate and identify the competences in a certain area, neglecting, on which are the best strategies to teach or enhance their development.

The purpose of this article is to understand how transversal competences in higher education are being worked out and which strategies are being used by higher education institutions to enhance the access and adequacy of the profile of graduates to the labor market. More exactly, this research focuses on the practices of higher education institutions in Portugal, with an universe of 116 higher education institutions. For the collection and treatment of information, documentary and content analysis is used in the data processing provided by the institutions studied.

The preliminary results of the research show a small number of higher education institutions in Portugal with programs for the development of transversal skills available and many of these programs focus on the provision of curricular units aimed at the development of transversal skills, such as "social skills and personal development course", “Transversal skills for employability”, “critical thinking” or “entrepreneurship course”. Other higher education institutions analyzed offer other training activities unrelated to curricular units, such as “cycle of lectures”, “volunteer programs”, “jobshops”, employability workshops.

In general, the preliminary results demonstrate that there are good practices in higher education which can be used by other higher education institutions at national and international level.
Transversal competences, employability, higher education.