The project SKILL2E aims to equip students on international work placements with intercultural competences. The model proposes a double loop learning cycle in which a shared online diary using guided questions is used for reflection. Preliminary results illustrate how this collaborative approach is conducive to the development of intercultural competences.
The SKILL2E project has three major objectives:
- Equipping graduates with transversal skills required to communicate effectively in today’s and future multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary workplace.
- Strengthening communication between universities and enterprises in providing a model for mutual knowledge transfer in the context of intercultural competence.
- Involving stakeholders at organisational as well as policy-making levels to ensure the impact of the SKILL2E approach beyond the project's boundaries and lifetime.
In order to achieve these goals, the collaboration of universities and enterprises will combine approaches and different findings in the fields of transnational student placements and related intercultural skill acquisition that have so far been isolated. This will be accomplished through a comprehensive training concept with accompanying measures, such as the online communication scenario and cultural mentoring at the enterprise. This action will involve the three relevant interest groups of students, universities and enterprises both actively in the project itself and as the intended beneficiaries.
The chosen approach is independent of both sectors and disciplines. The prototypical implementation of the SKILL2E concept in all of the associated universities and enterprises will facilitate the involvement of relevant institutional stakeholders. These stakeholders range from those who are responsible for the university-enterprise cooperation, to those who are responsible for the curriculum design at all faculty levels, in addition to the policy-makers that need to measure the relevance of the university-enterprise cooperation.
Furthermore, the SKILL2E cultural mentoring concept will improve the transfer of mutual knowledge, increasing awareness of cultural and social issues in the business world. Lastly, it will help balance a theory-based academic approach with practical workplace implications and employability aspects.