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Home » Archive » 2020

TDK conference 2020

Soft skills in veterinary education
Makk Timea - year 6
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department of Physiology and Biochemistry
Supervisor: Dr. István Tóth

Abstract:

Recent research and surveys among veterinarians show an increasing demand for the introduction of soft skills training in veterinary education as there is a continuous modernization of veterinary profession. Soft skills are essential for graduating students who face an intensive working environment where they have to cope with challenges imposed on them and the enormous strain their profession puts on them. At the same time, veterinary students are poorly equipped with tools to overcome these extensive challenges when they start working in their professional field.

This is the reason why Softvets project was launched in 2018. The aim of this project is to develop a curriculum containing teaching modules in the areas of interpersonal skills, entrepreneurship and digital skills implemented into the undergraduate programme of veterinary medicine studies. The primary target group of this project are students of veterinary medicine who need to be more prepared for real-life challenges in their future working environment. The second target group are teachers at veterinary universities that also need to upgrade their teaching competences regarding the area of soft skills. Our goal with this project is to create a framework and produce an ideal version of the new soft skills curriculum that would be applicable in veterinary higher education throughout Europe.

First, sets of competences were collected through an iterative process of literature research, experts’ discussions and reviews. Data was organized into three sections: communication, entrepreneurship and digital skills. As a result, the established competence model now includes 10 communication competences, 8 digital competences, and 9 entrepreneurship competences addressing cognitive and practical aspects on 4 levels (Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert).

This was followed by the process of defining learning outcomes and the development of an ideal curriculum. This part also consists of a training concept for the education of teachers involved in soft skill teaching and carry out a pilot implementation of selected modules at implementation partners’ institutions, like our university. Evaluation of the outputs and their impact on both target groups, students and teachers was carried out.

Lastly, dissemination of the finalized version of the recommendations and the new “soft skills” enables the creation of a curriculum amongst veterinary schools of the EU through online platforms and veterinary education associations like the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education.



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