social competence

21 May 2020

Universities have, at present, generally taken on as their own the role of providing comprehensive training that contributes to academic, professional, and social development. As a result, civic and social competences have become increasingly important, given their potential contribution to optimising university students’ transition to the labour market. The objective of this work is to study the psychometric properties of a scale for assessing a range of civic and social competences in higher education and to analyse whether students’ cycle and field of knowledge shape how these competences develop. To this end, after randomly dividing the sample of 996 university students, we performed an exploratory factorial analysis followed by a confirmatory factorial analysis. We then conducted a 2 × 2 Multivariate Analysis of Variance (cycle × field of knowledge), taking as dependent variables the factors obtained previously. In addition to a satisfactory solution of the scale, both in factor structure and in levels of internal consistency, the results reveal differences regarding the study variables. While first-cycle students display a high level of development of these competences, we found no differences regarding field of knowledge. However, significant effects were apparent in the interaction of these two variables, as first-cycle students from Health Sciences and Engineering-Architecture and second-cycle students from Social-Legal Sciences and Arts-Humanities displayed higher scores. This paper concludes by highlighting the need for higher education institutions to promote the development of civic and social competences to a greater extent. To do so, they should consider methodological strategies and programs that react to this need so that levels of social participation and transition to employment can be enhanced.



This is the English version of an article originally printed in Spanish in issue 276 of the revista española de pedagogía. For this reason, the abbreviation EV has been added to the page numbers. Please, cite this article as follows: Santos Rego, M. A., Ferraces Otero, M. J., Mella Núñez, Í., & Vázquez-Rodríguez, A. (2020). Universidad, competencias cívico-sociales y mercado de trabajo | University, civic-social competences, and the labour market. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 78 (276), 213-232. doi: