Skills for the Future​ (S4F)

Assessing Transversal Competencies through Multiple Mini-Interviews

Skills for the Future (S4F) is an ongoing scientific research project
at the Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies (CIPES)
funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. 
The project brings together a multidisciplinary research team
from three universities in Portugal: Porto, Aveiro, and Minho.

Project Overview

Project Objectives

The project’s main objective is to test a new tool, which results from the adaptation of the Mini-Multiple Interviews method, to assess soft skills developed by university higher education graduates, such as teamwork and communication. In addition, it is intended to assess the value of these skills in promoting greater employability and better pay in the first years of a professional career.

  • Developing new tools to assess the soft skills needed in the 21st century
  • Assessing the value of soft skills in promoting greater employability
  • Promoting reflection on the role of higher education institutions in preparing graduates for the future of employment

The Mini Multiple Interviews (MMI) Method

The MMI method has traditionally been used for the screening and selection of medical school applicants. This marks one of the first attempts to adapt the MMI method for the assessment of transversal competencies recognized as essential for the future of work, in a way explicitly aimed at its wider applicability to several academic fields and working contexts. It is expected to respond to the identified need in higher education institutions of a method to ascertain their students’ transversal competencies in a reliable and standardized manner.

The MMI method entails:

  • The response to 6 scenarios / problem situations in a virtual environment (4 individual and 2 collective)
  • 10 minutes to respond to each situation, including 2 minutes of preparation
  • Contact with different trained assessors
  • Various opportunities to demonstrate different skills
  • Showing the results to participants 

The MMI method promotes

  • Greater self-knowledge
  • Greater knowledge of the soft skills valued in the labor market
  • Experience in responding to possible situations-problems posed by employers

Preliminary Results & Findings

The project team is currently in the final stages of conducting interviews with student participants.  The following articles include preliminary results and findings, and it will be updated regularly with new publications. 

Foundational Skills for Future Employment

Digital Skills

Accessing digital information and understanding content, communicating and collaborating in digital environments, creating digital content, implementing digital security measures, and problem solving using technologies.

STEM Skills

Understanding of scientific, technological and mathematical principles and their use for critical analysis of available information and hypothesis building to solve complex practical problems.

Literacy and Communication

Decoding, understanding, creating, and communicating information or opinions in oral and written modalities in order to achieve specific goals and take advantage of different learning opportunities.

Languages and Cultures

Learning new languages and communicating in oral and written modalities (speaking, understanding what is read and written, writing) in more than one language fundamental to lifelong learning.

News & Updates
Avaliação de competências transversais através do método das Mini-Entrevistas Múltiplas

Avaliação de competências transversais através do método das Mini-Entrevistas Múltiplas

Sandra Santos, Carla Freire, Iris Barbosa, Hugo Figueiredo e Manuel João Costa apresentaram na 13th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI 2020), o trabalho "Assessing transversal competencies for the future of graduate work: An adaptation of the multiple mini-interviews method".

Os retornos da educação pós-graduada

Os retornos da educação pós-graduada

Miguel Portela, João Cerejeira, Carla Sá, Pedro Teixeira e Hugo Figueiredo, em coautoria com André Almeida e C. Braga apresentaram a comunicação “Returns to postgraduate education: Holding on to a higher ground?” na Portugal Stata Conference 2020.

Os desajustamentos entre os níveis de qualificações dos trabalhadores portugueses e os níveis de qualificações exigidos nas ocupações e os seus efeitos.

Os desajustamentos entre os níveis de qualificações dos trabalhadores portugueses e os níveis de qualificações exigidos nas ocupações e os seus efeitos.

Anabela Carneiro. Os resultados da tese de doutoramento “Skill Mismatches and Labor Market Outcomes” de Isabel Araújo, orientada por Anabela Carneiro, indicaram que os retornos salariais à sobre e sub-educação são substancialmente reduzidos quando se controla para as características não observáveis das empresas e dos trabalhadores [...].

Competências para o Futuro do Emprego

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Este trabalho é financiado por fundos nacionais através da FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P., no âmbito do projeto PTDC/CED-EDG/29726/2017.