Univerdad

Una conversación pública sobre la universidad española en clave afirmativa y crítica, desde la independencia y el rigor intelectual

¿Cómo fomentar y medir las habilidades sociales de los universitarios?

En Estados Unidos, la importancia de cultivar las habilidades sociales en la educación es una prioridad que, sin embargo, presenta algunas dificultades. Uno de los retos principales es que dichas habilidades, siendo valiosas, son complejas de definir y de medir. Este artículo escrito por Kevin Kruger, presidente de la Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), en el Times Higher Education aborda las diferencias entre las expectativas del mercado laboral y la formación de los universitarios.

Destaca la importancia de incorporar a las oficinas de las universidades que organizan las actividades extracurriculares de los estudiantes una orientación a la empleabilidad y de darles más oportunidades de demostrar sus capacidades.

Despite continuing dialogue concerning the importance of soft skills in both early education and university teaching to further employability, there remains a gap in the US between employer expectations of soft skills and student’s self-perception.

Only about a quarter of employers surveyed believe recent graduates are well prepared in critical thinking and analytic reasoning, written and oral communication, complex problem solving, innovation and creativity, and applying knowledge and skills to real-world settings. By contrast, over 60 per cent of students rate themselves as well prepared in these areas.

The problem may not necessarily lie in the lack of skills themselves, but simply lack of a medium for conveying what soft-skills they have.

Students must bridge the gap between telling what they’ve done and what they have learned from it. In the UK, this has been done by incorporating co-curricular records versus one-page, simple resumes.

If we think institutions are too different in size and mission to allow these efforts to succeed in the US, then we should look to the experience of our colleagues in the UK, where the Higher Education Achievement Report has been adopted by 27 institutions.

In moving forward to address the seeming lack of resources for creating and demonstrating soft skills in U.S. Higher Education, the author cites a need to end the separation of student affairs and academic affairs. Both sides should be considered equally relevant in shaping university policy which will increase employability for graduates.

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*Referencia elaborada por Hannah Taylor y Miguel Ángel Sancho para univerdad.

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