The Transferable Skills Development Programme of a Portuguese Economics and Management Faculty: The Perceptions of Graduate Students
Iris Barbosa, Carla Freire and Mariana Paiva Santos
Abstract The Bologna Declaration imposed significant changes in European higher education, placing emphasis on teaching methods that promote students’ active learning and the development of skills, including both the skills that are specific to the academic qualification area and the ones that became known as transferable skills. The latter have been considered to be fundamental to the promotion of graduate employability. This chapter presents the specific case of the Transferable Skills Development Programme of a Portuguese public university and analyses the perceptions of 21 graduate students, in the area of Economics and Management, regarding its relevance and contribution to the development of transferable skills. Through the completion of qualitative questionnaires and the interaction established within three focus groups, the respondents acknowledged the innovative profile of the programme in the Portuguese university context and its contribution to the development of transferable competencies, which they believed to be especially relevant to their future job performance. The graduate students involved considered that the Transferable Skills Development Programme should continue to reinforce its commitment to activities and contents which were markedly more practical.