Categories
Building & Business operations Curriculum & Program

Terra contributes to nature recovery, SDG 15, with…. a hive

Since two weeks, Terra VET school in Meppel inthe Netherlands, is the proud owner of a hive. Colleague Klaas has placed the basket on the school grounds with different intentions. Firstly, he thinks about contributing to SDG 15. In addition, he is a real teacher: you teach students (and colleagues!) about the life of the bee, its usefulness and necessity. A third reason is that honey is of course a particularly fine and tasty product…

SDG 15 is about protecting, restoring and sustainable management of life on land in all its forms. Protecting and restoring ecosystems and biodiversity can strengthen resilience against increasing population pressure, intensification of land use and climate change.

Categories
Building & Business operations

Living garden Terra

What is a living garden? 

A living garden is a garden with more functions than a standard garden, with terrace, lawn and border. A living garden means that there are many plants and flowers that attract insects. One creates more biodiversity with a living garden. It is also good for people: it is a resting place, a meeting place, a place to enjoy the greenery. Also bird houses scan be found. 

The garden has been designed and created by Terra students Sander Bijman, Axel Hulleman, Niels Schriel and Gerben Zantingh in the context of SDG Goal 15: 

  • Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat and reverse desertification and land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. 
  • Take urgent and decisive action to limit the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent endangered species. 
Categories
Marketing & Communication

Graduation flags as free advertising

At Yuverta in The Netherlands it is a custom that our graduates are given a flag of Yuverta to show off that they have graduated.Of course our flags are made of reclycled materials and they have to bring it back. Unfortunately they often end up in the attic or worse, in the garbage bin.

The school in Nederweert had the genius idea to ask for a deposit. Dutch people are very used to pay a deposit for e.g. plastic bottles at a supermarket, but to pay a deposit when you are given a graduation flag is completely new. But it worked! 95% of the graduates brought their flag back, only 3 flags are missing. This means that we do not have to produce new flags for next years graduates. Very sustainable and a fun example to communicate in order to show that sustainability is important to us.

Categories
Professional Development

Sustainability at everyone’s calendar at Yuverta

At Yuverta in The Netherlands Sustainability is one of the core values. We have written a policy with goals we want to achieve within a few years. One of our board members is responsible for achieving these goals. We also have a few dedicated colleagues to work on sustainability projects, to communicate internally and to find and collect sustainable ambassadors within Yuverta. They have developed a very nice idea, which is easy to copy to your organisation!

At our intranet our sustainability collegues have their own pages to inform and inspire others. They have made a sustainability calendar for every month of this year. Every month has a theme, which has a connection with one of the adopted SDG’s.

E.g. the theme of September is zero waste. This month they share tips, they share educational materials for our teachers and they challenge their collegues to change their habits towards sustainability. For example this month: don’t use paper cups, but use a mug or a glass.

They organise a ‘GreenTalk’ every month with one of our collegues. A 2 minute talk (video) about the sustainable impact he or she makes. It is very nice to hear collegues talk about their way of living, their passion for educating others on sustainability, and simply share their knowledge with others. You can find them on YouTube. Youtube offers the possibility to change the language of the subtitles (in screen you find a gear wheel).

This is a print screen of our intranet pages on sustainability with many news items and information about our sustainability strategy. On the right you can see blue tiles on several subjects. Links to our own sustainable calendar, SDG Netherlands, a Dutch initiative which is called Together for Biodiversity, a nature organisation, and several websites where you can find educational materials and projects.

Sophie van Kasteren – Yuverta – The Netherlands

Categories
Curriculum & Program

Anchoring Social Circular Economy Attitudes in VET (SCE-VET)

Educational institutions at all levels must take an active role in raising social awareness about the effects of climate change and the need to implement actions aimed at redirecting the trend of environmental deterioration because of the various actions of humans.

SCE-VET has an innovative approach for promoting a change of attitude and to favor the incorporation of measures and actions of CE, environmental sustainability and social responsibility among the target groups and stakeholders. There is a link between products and social issues.

The most relevant horizontal or sectoral priority is the environment and fight against climate change.

And additional priorities are :

  • Adapting vocational education and training to labour market needs;
  • Contributing to innovation in vocational education and training.

The concept of SCE is linking the principles of the CE with social enterprises, giving the right conditions to foster innovation and creativity, for a society with solutions to meet societal, environmental and economic needs.

Are you interested? Please download the presentation of SCE-VET.

Categories
Marketing & Communication

It doesn’ t have to be that complicated….

In mid-March we, Minke Schepers, Marketing and Communications department of Terra, and Evelien Kist, paid a visit to the province of North Holland for a meeting with a director of a pre-vocational secondary school of the Vonk College. I came to the address because of the excellent network EUROPEA, both at home and abroad. I had plotted the demand for successful training/growing educational institutions and a few colleagues responded. This was number 1 on the list and all the way in North Holland!

This school in Purmerend is a Pre-VET school with “green” practical subjects”. In the practical lessons they work with plants, animals, flowers, food, nature & environment and indoor and outdoor styling. Of course, information science, technology & technology and green entrepreneurship are also part of the practical program. In the whole of Europe (Weidevenne), the Vonk College Purmerend has a “green shop” where students can do an internship in a real business environment. A visit to the flower and plant auction in Aalsmeer and a green wholesaler are also part of this. Their motto is therefore: “Green: the basis for a colourful future”.

The school offers high-quality education from a professional organization, in which pupils and students are challenged to get the best out of themselves and does this by making the (learning) conditions as optimal as possible. The Vonk College is the first to reach employees, students, parents and the business community thought when it comes to good education because it:

• offers a safe and stimulating learning environment;

• challenges everyone to get the best out of themselves;

• cooperates with parents, the business community and other stakeholders in the region;

• is a professional organization with a modern personnel policy, and

• is characterized by transparency, responsibility and quality awareness.

The core values ​​of the Vonk College are involvement, quality and fun.

It was a real pleasure to talk to the director, Mr Kees Schilder. He told about ‘his’ school with enormous enthusiasm and warmth. About the difficult years at first and then the enormous growth that was almost impossible to keep up with. But where does such growth come from?

What is striking, is that the school makes little or no advertising. No Marketing and Communications department, no expensive advertising agencies. No, the advertising is provided completely free of charge by the students and their parents.

The school delivers quality. Much attention is paid to the individual student. So that works! A student who feels seen is comfortable in his own skin and in this way contributes to a pleasant atmosphere. And, very important, it advertises the school spontaneously and selflessly.

The school in Purmerend touches some of the 17 sustainable development goals: 4. quality education and 3. good health and well-being but it is not something the school is consciously concerned with. When you ask about sustainability, you actually end up with the relationship with the immediate neighbors.

What PROGRESS can use as Good Practice is actually nothing more or less than ensuring that you are known as a school that provides constant, high-quality education. Sustainability then actually lies in the continued existence of the school with sustainable relationships with the outside world. The other SDG goals come into play when everyone is aware of their necessity. How ‘simple’ can it be!

Categories
Building & Business operations

Terra is going to collect circular waste

Terra stands for a clean and sustainable living environment. We are therefore working towards a new way of waste collection that is in line with our green identity: smarter and cleaner collection: waste separation starting from school year 2022-2023.

In a circular economy there is no waste and products and raw materials are reused over and over again. The waste is the new raw material. That is why, in addition to paper, we are now also going to separate PMD (plastic packaging, metal cans and drink cartons), residual waste and Swill (organic waste) at our schools. In order to be able to collect this waste separately, different bins are needed to collect the different types of waste. We get so-called environmental streets for this. These are several garbage bins next to each other for the various types of waste. The recycling centers are placed at strategic places in the school. This means that all current waste bins will disappear.

A ‘waste team’ is formed per location to supervise the implementation of waste collection. With the pay-off ‘From mess to beautiful, can you help?’ we want to encourage everyone in the school to separate waste as well as possible, so that it can be used as a new raw material. In this way we can really make a difference together.

Categories
Curriculum & Program

Practical training at Savonia

Students from Savonia university has to do practical training at a farm or company for 90 days during the summer period after their first year studies. The content of placement: 1/3 crop production work, 1/3 animal husbandry work and 1/3 other work (for example forestry work, agricultural fair‐ visit, painting, fence repair)

The following requirements are imposed on the farm or company

  • Production should be large enough and developing;
  • There should be versatile work available;
  • Work safety and health should be in order;
  • Supervisor of the training should have agricultural; education and interest to teach and guide the trainee;
  • The farm should support learning and social development!
  • Salary/payment for student?

The application of companies/farms include:

  • Contact information;
  • Production, arable land, plant production, forestry;
  • Information about livestock, machinery, buildings, use of contractor;
  • Education, guidance, accommodation and meals, what kind of work available;
  • After improvement a contract is signed between Savonia and the farm/company for one or several years;
  • Placements are registered

The agreement between student and company includes:

  • Name of the company, name of the trainee;
  • What kind of work the trainee will do (plant production, livestock, other work, workload;
  • Accommodation, meals, payment, working period and working days);
  • The farmers commitment of guidance and give the information for the written tasks of training.

Preparation of Student’s placement

  • Second year students will present their placement experiences to the first‐year students;
  • They check the list of the companies;
  • Can go for pre‐training period to the farm (1‐2 weeks);
  • Have a short conversation with their teacher /supervisor about the placement and personal aims of their practical training;
  • Evaluation if the farm or company is suitable for their aims;
  • Make their own targets of the placement;
  • Write a CV and a motivation letter to the farm/company;
  • Contact and visit the farm /company;
  • Take part in preparation lessons about work/ labor legislation, work safety, protection against animal diseases and instructions for the written tasks of training.

Preparation of company of the placement

Information to the farms/companies will be sent by email before placement, and its content is:

  • Curriculum of the education;
  • Content and the purpose of the placement;
  • Labor legislation;
  • Assessment: include criteria, certificate to be full filled contract of employment to be full filled;
  • The length of placement is 90 working days (8 hours/day) during 5 months period (May‐ September);
  • The content of placement: 1/3 crop production work, 1/3 animal husbandry work and 1/3 other work (for example forestry work, agricultural fair‐ visit, painting, fence repair).

Responsibilities during the placement

After placement

  • Student finalizes written tasks in Moodle
  • Give feedback about the placement
  • Introduce his/her experiences, learning and the farm
  • company in seminar for the first‐year student


Categories
Vision & Ambition

Savonia university and Climate security

Jyri Wuorisalo, RDI Adviser in Human Security and Climate Security at Savonia University of applied science presented the vision of Savonia about climate security.

The awareness is increasing that humanity stands at a crossroads with regard to the legacy we wish to leave to future generations. Now is time to reform the story of mankind by creating a link between civilization and sustainable development. Other wise we will be we are swamped by some very big waves: the effects of COVID is small compared to climate change and the collapse of biodiversity. Just look at the IPCC report about climate change 2022 and there is only one conclusion possible: we have to act now!

Savonia’s strategy 2021-2030 is in line with this urgency. They want to be the most socially responsible and influential university of applied sciences through

  • co-development in education and RDI-activities,
  • maintaining a network and hub enhancing the competence network of business,
  • renewing their expertise through international activities,
  • being meaningful and productive and
  • taking care of the Students’ wellbeing by supporting the growth of tomorrow’s professionals.   

This strategy is realised through cooperation in several networks. For example the Human Security network in which human protection and empowerment are the main goals, the SDG are the central focus and the principles to leave no one behind and do no harm are important.  Another example is regional cooperation in which partners are working together on a roadmap to a carbon neutral Pohjois-Savo region.

Cooperation in national and international projects is also important for their strategy. PROGRESS is a good example of such a project in which partners learn together to grow towards a future proof sustainable school that is attractive for students.

Climate security is also implemented in the curriculum with a Master’s degree diploma Climate security with the following subjects: Climate security essentials, Health, Technology and Agriculture.

Are you interested in the PowerPoint upon which this blog pots is based? You can open it through this link.

Categories
Professional Development

E-learning at Savonia in Finland

Senior Lecturer in Business Economics and E-learning expert Hannu Viitala at Savonia university in Finland inspired the PROGRESS-parteners with his inspiration ideas and good practices in the field of E-learning.

Savonia teachers use all kinds of online tools during their lessons and COVID naturally enhanced their use but teachers were already used of using them. Tools like Microsoft teams, Moodle, Padlet, Exam and much more. But the pedagogy the teacher uses using these tools is far more important. It is not only about online learning but hybrid blended learning in which face-to-face learning is combined with online learning. At Savonia every class is a hybrid class.

Online learning is important for students and teachers. For students online tools are reasonable, motivational and practical that will also be important for their working life. Online tools make life easier for teachers and improve the quality of teaching.  Working life need employees who are willing and able to learn new things!

All Savonia courses are available in Moodle and teachers are trained to develop the courses by themselves. The analytics functions of Moodle are used to evaluate and improve the course. That is the normal way of doing things at Savonia. To make it more attractive students also have entrance to a video lecture library.

Are you interested in the PowerPoint upon which this blog pots is based? You can open it through this link.