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Global Competence

Globalisation and internationalisation have made ‘global competence’, i.e., the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to communicate and work constructively, creatively and ethically in environments characterised by cultural and social diversity, a prerequisite for successful engineering. Companies, organisations and official bodies are calling for our engineering graduates to possess this competence, and its acquisition is one of the perceived benefits of international mobility and comprehensive internationalisation of higher institutes of education.

Ongoing project

BADGE: Becoming a Digital Global Engineer . Erasmus+ project with 14 technical universities/engineering departments, 2019-2022.

Language, communication and culture within the European University alliance Unite!

Completed projects

Blending Swedish. Nordplus project with Aalto University and University of Iceland, 2015-2017. 

International Symposium on Language Learning and Global Competence. Financed by the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, August 2019.

TA VIE: Tools for Enhancing and Assessing the Value of International Experience for Engineers . Erasmus+ project with Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Budapesti Muszaki es Gazdasagtudomanyi Egyetem, and Universita Degli Studi di Trento, 2018-2021.

For successful engineering

With our research, we wish to explore how technical universities perceive, support, integrate and assess global competence for students, teachers and staff. The research also aims to help enhance present and future engineering education.

Working with teachers in language and communication, specialising in engineering communication, as well as teachers involved in KTH:s Certificate of Global Competence  and corresponding training for teachers and staff, we hope our research will help to strengthen current university endeavours in this field, and help design and test new ways of supporting global competence learning at technical universities.

Examples of research questions we are currently working on include: 

  • How do we assess the benefits of international student exchanges?
  • What should we teach so that students can transform their experiences from international exchanges into skills that benefit their future employers?
  • How can we use E-communication tools, for example for online meetings, more beneficially and effectively? How do we teach this to our students?
  • How do we teach engineers to use an additional language professionally?
  • How can we motivate employed migrant professionals to learn a local language? 
  • What characterises successful blended language and communication learning?
  • How can language teaching be designed to best help students' global competence development? 
  • How can language teaching adapt to advances in machine translation technology? 

Examples of conferences 

  • American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
  • CDIO
  • Frontiers in Education (FIE)
  • European Association for Teachers of Academic Writing
  • IEEE Professional Communication
  • Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON)

Model research environments 

Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use, Copenhagen University

Communication and Learning in Science, Chalmers

MIT Global Languages

Science Communication Unit, Imperial College

Global Competence group 

Page responsible:Björn Kjellgren
Belongs to: The Department of Learning in Engineering Sciences
Last changed: Jan 13, 2022