Can emotional intelligence enhance the student experience?
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Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise, understand and manage one's own and other's emotions (Salovey & Mayer, 1990). As a construct it has been reported to predict about 80 percent of a person's success in life and identified as a vital requirement for success in virtually any job (Goleman, 1998, 2000). Despite the fact that emotional intelligence has been acknowledged as a foundation for student achievement and success in a higher education setting (Petrides Frederickson & Furnham, 2004; Parker, Summerfeldt, Hogan & Majeski, 2004; Lopes, et al. 2004; Pau & Croucher, 1999), there is still limited empirical evidence to support the notion that emotional intelligence will enhance the student experience. This paper will examine emotional intelligence competencies from an ability perspective of emotional intelligence, which Mayer and Salovey present as a means of explaining the constructs of emotional intelligence, and discuss the relevance and practical applications of these competencies for enhancing the student experience in a higher education context.