Teaching “soft skills” to university students in China: the feasibility of an Australian approach

Yan, Li, Yinghong, Yang, Lui, Carrie, Whiteside, Mary, and Tsey, Komla (2019) Teaching “soft skills” to university students in China: the feasibility of an Australian approach. Educational Studies, 45 (2). pp. 242-258.

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Globally, universities are increasingly seeking to equip their graduates with specific “soft” skills to complement traditional “hard” skills so they can function in a rapidly changing and dynamic world. While hard skills are relatively straightforward to define and foster the same cannot be said for soft skills, despite the latter being increasingly acknowledged as equally, if not more, important. This paper assesses the feasibility of an Australian wellbeing course in the context of explicit soft skills training at one Chinese university in a pilot with 29 second-year students. Using an exploratory mixed-methods design, quantitative impact measures were collected before and after the intervention to complement qualitative workshop evaluations. Results clearly show that participants found both the content of the training as well as the participatory social learning approach relevant and acceptable. The training had a statistically significant positive impact on the assessed human qualities soft skills outcomes. Implications of the findings for the current interest in training Chinese university students in the spirit of innovation and enterprise are highlighted.

Item ID: 52864
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1465-3400
Keywords: sustainable development challenges, soft skills, human qualities, well-being, leadership, innovation and entrepreneurial training
Copyright Information: © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2018 22:59
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390199 Curriculum and pedagogy not elsewhere classified @ 20%
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390409 Learning sciences @ 30%
39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education @ 50%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930399 Curriculum not elsewhere classified @ 20%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930599 Education and Training Systems not elsewhere classified @ 80%
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