The university halls of residence are committed to enrich the development of students’ soft skills by organizing different activities that integrate the programmes taught at university.
Soft skills development is a complex phenomenon, which includes multiple factors, as the environment or ‘climate’ factor, the specific, personal goals of each student, attitudes, dispositions of each student and the effective programming of courses and activities aimed at students' personal, professional, social and cultural growth. Soft skill training in halls of residence takes place both trough ‘face-to-face’ activities, and other types of settings: experiential methods of learning through doing, such as on-the-job training and in-the-field-activities (for example work camps in developing countries), discussions, debates, simulation, business games, etc.
In halls of residence students are set in a collaborative/competitive environment and they learn from each other and through exposure to authentic, complex, real-life problems. Furthermore, learning is made more ‘meaningful’, since it is an intentional, active, conscious, constructive, and socially mediated practice that includes reciprocal intention-action-reflection activities. Various forms of assessment are used in halls of residence to evaluate students’ improvements and to define their training paths.
EUCA is partner of ModES (www.modesproject.eu ), a project financed by the EU programme "Lifelong Learnig Erasmus" aimed at integrating a common European programme on soft skills in the academic curricula, and the diploma supplement. A new curriculum has been designed to enrich students’ profiles with new employment-oriented competencies. Within ModES, EUCA published “Soft skills in action” , a map of soft skills best practice in European colleges and halls of residence.