An evaluation of an international collaborative project on soft skills and entrepreneurial skills development
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A cross-border collaborative project involving 16 engineering students from a Malaysian university and 16 social science students from a Thai university was implemented with the objectives of enhancing the participants’ soft skills and entrepreneurial skills. The project spanned over a period of 15 days, seven days in Malaysia and eight days in Thailand. The arrangement was chosen to provide the opportunities for the participants to utilise their acquired knowledge and to facilitate the generation of technology based innovative products for marketing. The 32 students were divided into four teams of eight participants each with four students from each institution. Each team was required to work on a business plan for an ‘innovative’ product proposed by the team for seeking funding. Each team was supervised by two facilitators, one from each university. In addition to writing business plan, the participants also joined field trips to places of interest and visited manufacturing facilities. A questionnaire survey and interview were conducted to gauge the achievement of the objectives. In general, the data obtained have quite clearly indicated that the project activities had been able to enhance soft skills, especially communication skills, English language proficiency, and most of all, the confidence to use English. The participants had also indicated that they had improved their business plan writing skills. The observation has lead the authors to believe that such collaborative project can be used to supplement classroom teaching to develop students’ soft skills and entrepreneurial skills.
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Anon (The Star, 2013-05-01)
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