Assessment of Undergraduate Students’ Generic Skills in Finland

Jani Ursin, Heidi Hyytinen, Kaisa Silvennoinen, Kari Nissinen | August 2021 | Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland

This study investigated the level of Bachelor-level students’ generic skills, what factors are connected with the level of generic skills, and to what extent these skills develop during higher education studies. The assessed generic skills included analytic reasoning and evaluation, problem solving, writing effectiveness, and writing mechanics. The participants (n = 2402) were students at initial and final stages of their Bachelor degree programmes from seven universities of applied sciences (UASs) and eleven universities.

According to the results, for nearly 60 percent of the higher education students, the generic skills were on a basic or lower level while for the rest, about 40 percent, these were on a proficient or higher level. The research findings suggest that students should begin learning these skills at the lower educational levels and in learning environments outside school, and they should continue developing these skills in higher education.