Because the number of students entering vocational education is dropping Aarhus Municipality in Denmark invests a lot of time and money to attract more students to vocational education. This is a complex and difficult task Marina Stannov from the municipality informs the partners of PROGRESS the strategie and activities that has been realised during the last couple of years and their plans for the near future.
She presented some importants that should be taken into account when schools and governments are working on this issue:
The first phase of the activities started in 2018 and was mainly a bottom up approach. The main goal was to introduce activities of vocational education to youngster of 13/14 years old (grade 8 and 9) within all kinds of subjects (like match). The municipality funded these activities for almost four years. More then half of the schools participated (10.000 students) and students and teachers were positive about it, but thecosts of investment were relatively high and as a result of the temporality funding is was not very sustainable.
During the next phase which started with a national regulation (2018) intending to make students familiar with Vocational Education through practical teaching and enhanced cooperation. This second phase was funded only for the indirect costs. Practical training with VET subjects for grade 8 and 9 students became a new teaching concept and schools got more flexibility implementing qualifications.
Towards an integrated approach
The results of these two phases in terms of the increase of students entering VET were not enough. That is the reason that they starting with a more integrated approach in 2022. This approach is based on four elements including enhanced school / VE-collaboration and school-business collaboration:
The purpose of practical training
Strengthening children’s and young people’s learning and their prerequisites for choosing youth education through teaching with an outlook to working life that
Goals for collaboration and practical training
Principles for collaboration on practical teaching
‘Throughout school students must experience teaching that is – in various
ways – based on authentic problems, shows the school’s subjects in real life
and provides knowledge about working life and education’
Throughout school students must experience teaching that is – in various ways – based on authentic problems, shows the school’s subjects in real life and provides knowledge about working life and education’
This new approach based on
should work. In a couple of years it will be clear if this approach leads to the results we are aiming at: more students entering VET-schools and he labour market that that are desperate looking for new workers.
Interested in the original presentation of Marina Stannov formt he municipality of Aarhus: download presentation.
During our project meeting in Denmark we visited the Nature school of the Green Academy of Aarhus located at a farm not far from the School. Green Academy has set up this nature school with a great variety of activities from pre-school activities to masterclasses. Main goal is to increase the interest in nature and modern agriculture and thereby the recruitment of new students.
The activities vary from Summer camps, to long term learning activities or projects, to 1-day-based learning activities and Team building activities.
Potential new students get inspired to work with innovative technologies and new developments in the agriculture sector like the cultivating of insects and mealworms as an alternative protein
Ate you interested in the whole story. You can download the whole story here: NatureSkolen Denmark
Or watch the video at Website Naturskolen
The field bean is an old crop that is currently very popular with growers in the province of Groningen. However, it is not widely used for human consumption, although it is possible. Terra’s students got to work on it. The beans are grown at the Suikerterrein in Groningen, among other places, which is also a learning environment for Terra students. They were right on top when the beans were harvested and dried.
The field bean has many advantages. They contain a large amount (more than 27%) vegetable proteins. And the field beans retain the nitrogen in the roots, so it does not end up in the soil. The cultivation of the field beans improves the soil and biodiversity.
If people eat more broad beans, they get vegetable proteins and they no longer need to get their proteins from animal products. This means fewer animals are needed and CO2 emissions will be reduced.
Many field beans are still used for livestock farming. That is a shame, because many of these beans can also be used for human food. The students were commissioned by the Toentje Foundation to make a tasty end product. This ensured that the products end up at the Food Bank.
The result: a gluten-free pasta, pizza base and a dipping sauce. The students took a good look at the different target groups for the products, these are very suitable for use!
With the flour of the field bean you can make surprisingly tasty products. The Terra students discovered this during their very first project assignment. The problem for which a solution was sought was an issue surrounding the field bean. What can you make from the field bean, pure or grinded? The students were given five weeks to think about it, make a prototype and design a packaging with a flyer. In good spirits, three groups of students set to work with the ‘Design-Thinking’ method. Some products turned out not to be the right choice and students simply started experimenting again. Ultimately, a prototype field base (pizza), a dipping sauce and a pasta were developed and presented to client Jos Meijer van Toentje, the social vegetable garden in the city of Groningen. But of course much more can be made from field beans and field bean flour. Students submitted their solutions for the Impact Prize of Groenpact. They were all nominated! And on March 4, 2021, the redeeming answer finally came. The students won the 1st prize, a cash prize of € 2500.00. Together with the students, we devise a good destination for this amount of money. They are thinking about improving the prototypes and scaling up the products.
We have now grinded more than 300 kilos of field bean flour and students pack this in sealable bags, make a label and a logo. They are now trying to sell the flour during an alternative internship. Not all students have been able to find a good internship, which is why we came up with this project. All courses are reflected in the project. Students go through the various work processes with an external supervisor.
First of all, the students have now gained experience in promoting their product in Ekoplaza Drachten. There the students were given a presentation table to present the flour. “It went like a train, customers were very enthusiastic,” says Elina, who was working in the Ekoplaza. Now the next step is looking for more companies to get sales done. If successful, the students can educate farmers so that they start thinking about growing differently.
The students also came up with various recipes and put this into a recipe booklet. This link will take you to their online recipe booklet.
This way of entrepreneurial education is typical for Terra. Collaborate with the real, working world. Receive assignments from entrepreneurs and governments who develop the students in project groups. The themes vary according to the field of study. Field beans project was an assignment for the students of the Food, Life & Innovation program.
This way of entrepreneurial education is typical for Terra. Entrepreneurs and governments provide assignments or issues to the students, which they then carry out in project groups. The students must link each project, each assignment, to one or more SDG goals. A very good way to raise awareness among students and teachers. The themes vary according to the field of study. Field beans project was an assignment for the students of the Food, Life & Innovation program.
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.
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 :
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.
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
The application of companies/farms include:
The agreement between student and company includes:
Preparation of Student’s placement
Preparation of company of the placement
Information to the farms/companies will be sent by email before placement, and its content is:
Responsibilities during the placement
Personal development is the precondition for social change. The shift to a more sustainable school can only be realised if managers, teachers and students have the right competentces to make that shift.
The Inner Development Goals show what inner shifts and human growth need to happen in order for us to increase our chances of reaching the SDGs.
They cover 23 skills into 5 categories and can be very helpful to identify the skills teachers and students need to learn.
The full introduction to the framework – Download
Introduction film Inner Development Goals