High Education and University Teaching and Learning Processes: Soft Skills

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Aug 27;19(17):10699. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191710699.


In the era of globalization and technology, society demands young generations of citizens able to work in a kind of environment characterized by complexity and diversity. Therefore, the education system faces a new kind of challenge, as graduates are reported to need transversal skills, which are unlikely to be learned through traditional classroom teaching. The overall aim of this article is to examine the needs for these skills and their acquisition by higher education teachers to cope with the evolving European labour market of the 2020s. The article envisions the importance of soft skills in the teaching profession. The empirical part consists of a comparative study with Italian and Portuguese teachers, highlighting the status of a set of crucial soft skills (assertiveness, networking skills, teamwork, sensitivity, socialization, action-orientation, ability to work under pressure and social desirability).

Keywords: European education system; cultural values; soft skills; teaching competences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Educational Status
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Learning*
  • Teaching*
  • Universities

Grants and funding

This research was funded by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Commission within the scope of the Strategic Partnership for Higher Education (2017-1-ES01-KA203-038589), In addition, this work was funded by the Annual research project, Il lavoro con le soft skills, 2020, supported by the Department of Education Science of Rome TRE University.