A Framework of Global Competence for Engineers: The Need for a Sustainable World

News: we want to share with the entire TA VIE community that a research article (open access) has recently been published within the framework of the development of the project, with the aim of disseminating the preliminary results of the project as well as the most outstanding findings of the early stages.

We hope this research article is of interest to you!


This paper presents the results of the first part of the Tools for Enhancing and Assessing the Value of International Experience for Engineers (TA VIE) project, launched in 2018, and outlines a contemporary understanding of global competence for engineers, as understood by European engineering companies. Striving to make engineering education more comprehensively aligned to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and thereby meeting demands from industry and society, the notion of “global competence” has attracted more and more attention from engineering schools. While there is no universally agreed on definition of global competence, the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) definition, which explicitly combines global awareness and intercultural communication competence with sustainability efforts, seems potentially well positioned to inform higher education institutions’ (HEI) global competence education. This is perhaps especially so when it comes to international student mobility, an area which is regularly seen as an important means to enhance global competence while all too often being assessed not in terms of qualitative student development, but in terms of structural indicators. However, in order to assess and improve curricula and mobility programs, the desired learning outcomes must first be specified. Based on research in five European countries (Spain, Italy, Sweden, France and Hungary), this paper details the understanding, requirements and perceived skill gaps of companies hiring engineering graduates, a first step towards improved and assessable global competence education for engineering students.

Keywords: global competence; internationalization; engineering profession; qualitative research; European comparison

Sustainability 202012(22), 9568; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229568

Download PDF: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/12/22/9568/pdf

Intellectual Output 1 comes to light!

Framework for Global Competence of Engineers

We are pleased to share the following informative leaflet detailing the preliminary results derived from the first Intellectual Output (IO1). For this purpose, as previously reported, this work developed by the project team during the first year of the project will be disseminated to the stakeholders through several multiplier events.

These events are taking place in each of the participating countries which will present the framework of IO1. It will be an important sounding board point for further work and will be used to collect the opinion of the target groups. These opinions are taken into account for further work on the next IOs.

We encourage everyone to participate and hope you like it.!

More Info – Multiplier Event at UPM – MADRID:


TA VIE project in The 2nd International Symposium on Language Learning and Global Competence

Another of the initiative undertaken was the presentation of the TA VIE project in the 2nd International Symposium on Language Learning and Global Competence, Stockholm 23-24 August 2019. The Symposium aimed to discuss how language and communication studies can best support, gain support from, and be part of global competence education for engineers.

The poster presentation won first prize at the Poster Session during the President’s Reception, based on “the innovativeness and efficacy of the work, and the quality of the presentation”.

TA VIE around the world

Recently the TA VIE project was presented at the last congress of American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) 2019, this annual xonference and exposition is the only conference dedicated to all disciplines of engineering education. It is committed to fostering the exchange of ideas, enhancing teaching methods and curriculum, and providing prime networking opportunities for engineering and technology education stakeholders such as deans, faculty members and industry and government representatives

The following abstract is part of the article presented by TA VIE team in the framework of the conference:


This work-in-progress paper presents a newly launched EU-project, TA VIE: Tools for Enhancing and Assessing the Value of International Experience for Engineers. The project is a three-year collaboration between technical faculty at universities in Spain, France, Italy, Hungary and Sweden, with associate partners representing industry, consultants, educational organizations and student bodies. As a rationale for the project lies a recognition of two facts: the ever-increasing need for global competence among engineering graduates and professionals, and the still overwhelming reliance on structural indicators to gauge internationalization, as opposed to means to objectively and reliably measure qualitative outcomes of internationalization and learning activities for global competence. The project has four specific objectives: 1. To identify the global competence (knowledge, skills and attitudes) needed by engineers. 2. To develop a robust toolkit with which institutions of higher education, companies and organizations can assess individual global competence, and so also measure the effect and effectiveness of training and international mobility. 3. Develop innovative and effective teaching and training strategies for students in higher education, focusing on curriculum design and making better use of the many already existing opportunities for embedded mobility and collaboration. 4. Develop strategies and ways of valorising the competence of engineers with global competence, to promote employability. The project’s rationale and specific objectives may seem straightforward and in line with international educational trends of the last decades, however, while primarily aimed at introducing the project, the paper wishes to problematize it. The project is situated within a very specific EU context. Questions are raised about what understanding of the rationale and objectives the project partners, coming from countries with significant political and socioeconomic differences, bring to the project. If global competency for engineers is indeed the ability to “work effectively with people who define problems differently”, the project would seem to have, as its very first challenge, to find ways of making the collaboration and its objectives meaningful both at the local, national and EU levels.

TA VIE project follow-up meeting at BME – Hungary

Another working meeting has been held between the different partners of the TA VIE project. This time the site chosen was Budapest University of Technology and Economics. The productive meeting has allowed progress in the defined objectives and reach the milestone regarding Intellectual Output 1.

The development of the agenda included the update and closing preparation of the Intellectual Output 1, as well as the partners’ contributions and discussion on the matter.

Thanks BME for the organization and being an exceptional host. And, of course, as is tradition, ¡it could not miss a photographic record of the event with part of the project team!

TAVIE project follow up meeting at UniTrento – Italy

The last virtual work meeting of the TAVIE Project included a special work day on the campus of UniTrento – Italy. The day was marked by the staff mobility of representatives of UPM and KTH partners. The development of the agenda included the update of the Intellectual Output 1 progress, as well as the partners’ contributions and discussion on the matter.

And, of course, it could not miss a photographic record of the event with part of the project team!


Press release: How to strength our Competencies through international experience

Have you ever wondered how international mobility affects your professional career, or how these opportunities for learning reasons stimulate and enrich your personal life? Here we tell you the latest European initiative to respond to these and other challenges.

 Through the Erasmus + program Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in partnership with the universities: Kungliga Tekniska Hoegskolan, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Budapesti Muszaki es Gazdasagtudomanyi Egyetem, and Universita Degli Studi di Trento, launch the research project Tools for Enhancing and Assessing the Value of International Experience for Engineers (TA VIE). An interesting proposal that will help you to plan and lead your future, undertake new challenges and face the complexity that the current labor market poses to you.

The European Commission has been at the forefront of public policy initiatives in addressing the New Skills Agenda. Nowadays, not only technical skills are needed but also a type of boundary spanning ability, boundary spanning being the ability to communicate across disciplines, systems and cultures, as well as self-knowledge.

When analyzing which tools may help to shape professionals with these skills internationalisation gets an important role. The only known way to strength these competences is to participate in multidisciplinary project teams working on problems that have no known solutions. Considering multicultural teams and international projects enrich this experience, strengthening competences today needed.

The Project TA VIE will help to identify those competences currently essential to work in a multidisciplinary and international context and to measure them. With the joint of those competences (knowledge, skills and attitudes) as a whole, we will obtain the so called Global Competence.

We assume that some skills and attitudes dramatically improve in a positive way after an international mobility. Therefore, in order to make the best of international mobility, it should be designed accordingly and its results should be assessed by all those target groups (HEIs, students, employers) involved in the implementation of TA VIE.

Reaching TA VIE objectives will contribute to curricula development with high-quality skills. The implementation of a tool kit for assessing and measuring the achievement of those skills that make up global competence will clearly improve the transparency in recognition of skills.

For more information about TA VIE project:

Website: https://blogs.upm.es/tavie/

Assessing Intercultural Competence

AFS Intercultural Programs is an international, voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world.

Dr. Darla K. Deardorff is the executive director of the Association of International Education Administrators at Duke University in the United States. She is an adjunct or visiting professor at numerous universities around the world. Dr. Deardorff has served on faculty of Harvard University’s Future of Learning Institute and is faculty at the Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication. Dr. Deardorff has published and presented widely on topics in international education, global leadership and intercultural learning assessment