IO4: Global competence and entrepreneurship

Goals: Develop, test and disseminate language-neutral learning activities for global competence and entrepreneurship.

Rationale: The intellectual output is inspired by OECD Pisa’s Global Competence Framework. The Framework consists of four competences, namely, the capacity (1) to examine local, global and intercultural issues, (2) to understand and appreciate the perspectives and world views of others, (3) to engage in open, appropriate and effective interactions with people from different cultures, and (4) to act for collective well-being and sustainable development. These competencies serve as the core structural units for the proposed intellectual output. Global competence (GC) is seen as increasingly important, and proficiency in foreign languages is one important part of that competence. Yet this is seldom made explicit in language learning. With more focus on issues of diversity language courses could easily add another dimension and become more motivating and more important parts of our students’ preparation for their working life. Engineering students have a huge potential to become entrepreneurs and build a start-up because they are usually oriented towards developing a product, solving a problem, etc. However, they often lack soft skills (e.g. leadership, communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork, etc.). Also, engineering students (esp. those who are considered to be Gen Z) more and more often do freelance work, which involves use of various ICTs and a lot of online communication. Many times, such communication is intercultural. Intercultural communication often causes various challenges, esp. when it does not happen face-to-face. Entrepreneurs are good communicators and negotiators; they have good interpersonal skills and speak foreign languages. They are open-minded, innovative, creative, and not afraid to take risks. They are great team players, but can also work autonomously. One can claim that these traits correspond to the Framework of Global Competences, and can be extremely useful for engineering students as well. International cooperation in this project will ensure a natural setting in which we can develop and test these with the help of students with different backgrounds. It is also relevant for staff training.

Intellectual Output Description: Every module includes a syllabus, e-Handbook with language-neutral learning activities that explicitly integrate GC and entrepreneurship training in language courses, focusing on new and innovative practices for the technical university. In addition, lecturer’s slides, self-evaluation and control package, and trainer’s material will be provided. Innovative teaching methods and blended learning technologies will be used in part delivering content and instruction via digital and online media with some elements of student control over time, place, path, or pace. The module will be provided to general public, the information about the module will also be sent to and disseminated by different units at universities that function as start-up spaces.