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The objective of this study was to identify, review, and synthesize existing research focusing on relational competence in the field of higher education (HE). The focus was irrespective of whether the studies focus on HE teachers or students. Thus, the present review includes studies focusing on HE teachers as well as studies that center on students in HE. The included articles were scrutinized regarding focus, methodological considerations and results, the goal being to understand the literature and identify possible research gaps. The articles were descriptively synthesized, broadly following the principles of a narrative synthesis. The results suggest that individuals’ understanding of relational competence can be enhanced through training. However, the included studies predominantly explored the relational competence of student teachers in preparation for their future employment, while comparatively limited attention was given to the relational competence of teachers employed in HE or students outside teacher education programs. Moreover, there seems to be a disparity in perspectives between HE teachers and students regarding their perceptions of the significance of HE teachers’ relational competence. While students tended to perceive HE teachers’ relational competence as crucial to their wellbeing and learning, the teachers themselves conversely tended to prioritize organizational factors, such as course structure, over the importance of their relational competence. The main conclusions highlight the need for further development of relational competence among HE teachers, along with increased research and training in this area. Additionally, the results suggest a need for expanded education focusing on relational phenomena in teacher programs to better prepare student teachers for their future employment.
TidskriftCogent Education
StatusPublicerad - 2024-apr.-03

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