Transversal skills – new competences for international working life

Changes in working life, mobility of people and diverse careers require, in addition to profession-specific skills, transversal skills common to all fields (UNESCO 2016). They are accentuated in varying working conditions and individual transitions across the lifespan (Isacsson et. al. 2016, Raatikainen & Rantala-Nenonen 2021b). They promote mobility and dialogue between different fields, even though field-specific professional expertise remains at the center of expertise. Recent years have shown, with many global crises, how transversal skills are required from professionals in unexpected circumstances. Similarly, good cooperation skills, critical thinking, and emotional skills are also crucial factors to tackle crisis. Additionally, creativity is needed. These challenges have taught us how to react at short notice for the good of people, across sector or continent boundaries. Despite this, transversal skills have not been sufficiently identified in the competence goals or teaching in higher education, institutions (Virtanen & Tynjälä 2019). Pedagogical framework for transversal skills (EQF 7) has been developed in Metropolia UAS Master’s Degree Programme in Social Services since 2020, in cooperation with its international partners (ITSHEC project).


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Metropolia University of Finland is one of ITSHEC’s partner institutions, and we are working together to generate more content for improving the implementation of teaching-learning strategies to work on transversal skills throughout the overall educational continuum in healthcare and social care. 




ITSHEC project – Integration of transversal skills into health and social care, higher education and the curriculum – aims to improve the training of healthcare and social services professionals in transversal skills throughout the undergraduate and postgraduate training journey.



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