Background and goals
The overall aim of VAKEN is to make explicit the training and assessment of soft skills as core competences.
To achieve our aim, VAKEN aims to create tools and processes to enable students to learn key soft skills and use them in real-life projects with companies from across the region in the form of live Sprints.
This project builds upon the core partners’ previous collaborations. The VAKEN project is funded by Nordplus and the Lindstedt foundation.
Its partner institutes are TTK University of Applied Sciences (Estonia); University of Akureyri (Iceland); Vilniaus University of Applied Sciences (Lithuania); Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (Latvia); Kaunas University of Applied Sciences (Lithuania); University College Lillebelt (Denmark). The project is led by Arcada.
Objectives and benefits
We have set out to create a new framework to develop students’ soft skills in real-life contexts. We believe that society urgently needs graduates who master these skills to handle successfully the challenges of a digitized future and that these skills need to be made available for learning.
The result will be a new pedagogical framework that is recognized and can be used by organizations in the Nordic and Baltic countries.
1.Create a pedagogical toolbox for generating and using new techniques to train students explicitly in soft skills;
2.Develop this pedagogical approach in such a way that it meets real working-life requirements;
3.Implement a network of digital labs where this approach can be refined;
4.Offer a process through which the VAKEN process can be offered within existing curricula;
5.Support internationalization for students, staff and entrepreneurs working within constantly changing environments.
The success of cross-border assignments developed in previous projects have clearly demonstrated the educational value of international activities and the pedagogical advantages for students working with real-life projects.
Similar benefits will accrue as we move to develop toolkits for rehearsing and perfecting key soft skills. Students will need to feel comfortable cooperating with people from different cultural and social backgrounds. This is best achieved through direct exposure to novel interactions in work-related situations.
VAKEN will become a regional resource, through coordinating these. We prepare the co-workers and leaders of the future in VAKEN.