Internationalisering

Terra is an agricultural training centre with approximately 6000 students. Terra offers four types of education:

  1. Preparatory secondary vocational education - VMBO(12-16 years)
  2. Senior secondary vocational education – MBO (16 years and older)
  3. Part-time education for adults (LLP)
  4. Green Lyceum

Terra is located in the northeast of the Netherlands and has eleven execution locations: seven VMBO and six MBOs. Adult education, Terra Next, is provided at one of our locations or at a company or institution 'in company'. Green Lyceum is offered in Assen, Eelde, Emmen, Meppel, Winsum and Wolvega.

The MBO program prepares students for (full-time or through vocational guidance training) at four levels of education. The MBO diplomais positioned at level 1-4 of the Dutch Qualifications Framework (NLQF level 1-4 / EQF level 1-4), depending on the duration and the specialisation of the programme.

The students can choose from courses of study offered by Terra under the following "worlds":

  • Nature, garden and landscape: culture technique and water management, nature and recreation, gardening.
  • Agro and technique: arable farming, livestock farming, contract work
  • Flower, green and styling
  • Food, life & innovation
  • Animal and welfare: animal care, veterinary assistance, equine studies
  • Entrance training courses (level 1): green retail trade, plant and environment, green logistics, nutrition

The education is offered competence based. In addition, the Regional Learning plays an increasingly important role. Terra encourages international mobility of students and staff, international projects (Region Learning International) in the interest of preferred work placements in Europe and for the sake of cooperation with the region with similar regions in other countries. Internationalisation is part of the Strategic Policy Planning of Terra 2015-2020.

Underlying this Strategic Policy, Terra follows the policy memorandum on Internationalization of the Dutch AOC Council. Terra is member of the EUROPEA INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION, EUROPEA, an international network of about 1.200 schools, land based, in 25 countries in Europe. This is an organization for the development of vocational education and training (VET) in the green sector of Europe (http://www.europea.org) and member of the national EUROPEA (http://www.europea-nederland.nl).

For the movie about the international mobility of students and staff, click here

NETWORK TERRA

EUROPEA

EUROPEA
EUROPEA is an association working for the development of vocational education and training (VET) in the green sector of Europe. This sector covers a wide field of professions within agriculture, horticulture, forestry etc.

At present, EUROPEA organizes 25 national EUROPEA networks, which represent over 1.200 vocational schools and institutions all over Europe.

EUROPEA offers:

  • A network of European colleagues committed to international cooperation and sharing of knowledge.
  • An effective framework for international cooperation in projects funded by the EU and other agencies.
  • Advocacy vis-à-vis the EU institutions.

EUROPEA is about networking
In benefit of the national members, EUROPEA stage the following activities on a regular basis:

  • Two bi-annual meetings for the membership. The program may include knowledge exchange on vital developments in the green sector, didactical and pedagogical issues. Often, interesting and challenging excursions may be found in the program too.
  • Professional competitions for green VET students in disciplines such as Forestry, Wine growing and tasting, Agriculture, Landscaping, Agro-Mechanics, Floristry and Agrolympics.
  • National and individual members of EUROPEA communicate via an intranet provided by TeamEngine Workspace.
  • The legal framework

Established in 1992, EUROPEA activities are based in a set of legally approved Statutes and some Internal Regulations. The governing body is the annual General Assembly attended by the National Coordinator from each member country. EUROPEA is headed by a 6-month Presidency that follows the rotation schedule of the European Council.

An Executive Committee headed by a Secretary General manages day-to-day operations of the association. An Editorial Group is responsible for the website and social media.

 

EUROPEA Netherlands

Goals:

  • Promote national and international contacts and exchanges between schools for green education (agriculture and horticulture, "Land-based" schools).
  • Exchange of knowledge.
  • Support / or establish thematic networks.
  • Exchange of students and teachers.
  • Developing joint training programs or encouraging mutual participation.
  • Using European funding programs.
  • Develop common certificates and learning units.
  • Developing a European dimension in education and the creation of transnational partnerships.
  • Develop a European dimension of the cooperation between education and business in the green sector.
  • Promotion of language learning.
  • Developing 'open' education.

Terra too is member of EUROPEA NL, together with nine AOC’s, Aeres University (training of green teachers), InHolland, Wageningen University, van Hall Larenstein and SUSP. Terra has been closely involved with Europea since its inception. From the beginning, staff from Terra has sat on the national and/ or international board.

Carrefour Européen

This is an annual meeting of students from Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Poland and the Netherlands. The program focuses on green themes. The event is organised by a different country every year and the average number of students participating is 100. Terra is member since 1990.  Terra organises the meeting, together with students,  in 2019. The event takes place in Grolloo. Main theme is food.

ONGOING

The number of students doing an International Work Placement (IBPV), is Terra-wide rising. We make a distinction in an IBPV in and outside Europe. Students who make an European IBPV, may be eligible for financial support with a grant from Erasmus +.

This relates to reimbursement of travel and accommodation expenses. Students have to meet a number of conditions (before, during and after the IBPV), including a financial report, a digital evaluation and a language assessment before and after the IBPV. In addition, there is the possibility to take a free language course. The by all parties signed Europass (both for students and for employees) is the proof of mobility. The Europass will get a place in the portfolio of the participants. For non-European work placements is, unfortunately, still no funding available.

Regional Learning International

Every year, student foundations are instructed to organize an international study trip. Participants: entrepreneurs, teachers / staff and students. In the learning quotation, the assignment is clearly defined and after signing the students go to work on the project (which plays in an academic year). In recent years there have been trips to Denmark (Jersey cows) and Sweden (livestock, flower). The study trips to England, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden are planned.

Incoming mobility

Terra signed in a Memorandum of Understanding with Västra Götalands Regionen, Sweden, for receiving 15 Swedish students in 2019 and a similar number in 2020. They come for an internship of three weeks. Terra arranges companies and is helpful in finding accommodation and taking assessments. Terra invites the students also to join some classes and this way the opportunity to meet our students.

PROJECTS

VET Mobility Charter in 2015 for TERRA

Terra has been awarded as secretary of the consortium 4Groen with the VET MOBILITY CHARTER. Erasmus+ VET Mobility Charter is a new phenomenon. The aim is to stimulate strategic approach to internationalization and quality of learning mobility in vocational training.

Purpose
The Charter is intended for MBO organizations which have implemented internationalization in the broadest sense in education. Think for example of outward mobility of students and professionals, but also to inbound mobility and internationalization at home. 

Charter holders and the benefit of the Charter
The Charter Holders may use the simplified application process for Key Action 1 (KA1) Calls (till 2020). There is no longer a quality assessment. A separate budget will be reserved for Charter holders in MBO. Applicants who have not been assigned a Charter, follow the regular procedure KA1.

Grant Erasmus+ 2018 - 2020 KA1 Mobility

This year again Terra, coordinator of this project, has been successful in the KA1 call 2018 (international mobility for students and staff); the application is approved (for the 4Groen consortium). It is therefore that students and employees (professional!) can again learn abroad!

Grant Erasmus+ 2015 - 2018 KA2 - strategic partnerships Peat Valley+; repositioning the school in the region

This project is a continuation of Peat Valley which ended in 2014. Partners in this project:

Hanzehogeschool Groningen, Gebiedscoöperatie Westerkwartier, Vives University College; Katholieke Hogeschool Vives zuid (Kortrijk, Be), Västra Götalandsregionen, Naturbruksförvaltningen, hs/apss; Department of education, social psychology and language (Skövde, Se)

The project ended in 2018. At the website you can find the results: http://regionallearning.eu/.

AGROLYMPICS in the Netherlands in 2021

One of the objectives of EUROPEA is to support student competitions such as the wine competition, forestry competition and the AGROLYMPICS. The first AGROLYMPICS were organized in 2015 by EUROPEA-Luxembourg with a large number of professional disciplines.

EUROPEA Nederland (www.europea-nederland.nl) organizes the event in 2021. A core team is needed for the organization of the grand event. The second shell, the 'hands', comes at a later time. The subject was on the agenda of the Terra project group IBPV/ ECVET (consisting of delegates from all Terra MBO locations) and everyone was immediately enthusiastic: all members indicated that they would like to support in the executing year.

Strategic Partnership Project KA2 2018: Learning Landscape

Next to Terra, other partners in this project are CFPPA de Vaucluse, Carpentras, France; Staatliche Gewerbeschule 13, BS 06, Hamburg, Germany;  ZAWM Eupen, Eupen, Belgium; La Mouillère Ecole d’Horticulture, Orléans, France; Annas koku skolas biedriba, Babites, Latvia. Each partner organizes training courses for students and / or teachers, staff. These training courses are very diverse. For example, Terra students will go to Belgium for a climbing course (level 1). They spend a full week in Eupen and get a training in climbing and theoretical lessons. There will be seminars about urban trees and their health, permaculture, stone walls, ecological urban gardens.

Strategic Partnership Project KA2 2019

Terra will be lead partner in a new KA2 project that will be submitted this year.

VET-colleges in the green sector play an important role in delivering enough well qualified workers affiliated with the developments towards a sustainable society and the green labour market. All participating partner organisations face various challenges to make this happen. The necessary increase of the number of students educated with green and sustainable skills can be achieved by expanding additional efforts to acquire and retain new target groups, especially the multicultural and urbanised youth in general. We believe that these challenges can be solved by positioning green schools and programs in a positive an innovative way and within the context of our developing sustainable and green society.

International HUBs.

Terra is working with several international partners (Denmark, Sweden, Germany) together in writing  ECVET-units (European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training). Something about European Qualification Framework (EQF) and ECVET.We in Europe are forced to recognize each other's diplomas. Each country has a different educational and certification structure. It is not always clear what level training is. Hence, the introduction of an international standard in which an independent level structure is described. This is the EQF. The idea is that if a program claims that it is "EQF level 4 ', that everybody knows what this means and how it fits into its own education level. 

Moreover, the system provides exactly the same benefits if you are applying for a job abroad. You can see the EQF as the "euro" of education. EQF levels range from 1 to 8. The difference is not the content of diplomas, but the degree of responsibility and complexity. The higher the EQF level, the easier it will be able to migrate between sectors. All European countries have been asked to create a qualifications-based EQF. This is the NLQF.ECVET is (achieved abroad) European system for transfer and recognition of learning outcomes in vocational education. With ECVET you can improve the quality of a mobility project. The purpose of ECVET is transparency. 

We, Terra, want our students to follow a part of their curriculum abroad. To get clear at what level the student learns, take a look at the Learning Outcomes. When Learning outcomes describe what a student has learned, described in Knowledge, Skills and Competencies. It is about the identification of qualifications: does it involve knowledge, skill or competence?You describe for all partners in plain language what the learner must present after the completion of such a unit. That way it is clear for all parties what needs to happen. The student, the partner school and the internship provider abroad sign a Learning Agreement which describes the Learning Outcomes. The assessment is conducted by the internship provider and the teacher / other competent member of the partner school. 

The pupil completes a part of his curriculum abroad that will be recognized and validated by the sending school. In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreements at board / executive board level are signed, whereby the starting point is 'mutual trust'. In Denmark a concept unit is discussed and adapted to a clear and workable document for all parties. Furthermor, agreements about the assessment must be made.

Two International strategies are described in the MIP (Investment Plan) of Terra. From Regionalisation - Internationalization - Regionalisation about cooperation in the Triple Helix (education / research, business and government) and HUB International (an international network of educational institutions, coupled with innovative and high-quality placement companies). In the framework of international cooperation within the Triple Helix, Terra has visited a former partner of the network Peat Valley in Marijampole, Lithuania, the Marijampole Vocational Education and Training Centre. There are a number of livestock farms visited and their problems became apparent. Low milk prices makes that little is earned. Farmers want to expand but there is little land available. Terra found that with fairly simple adjustments, for example in the quality of the forage harvesting, there is a lot to obtain. Terra plans to go in the direction of a work placement, conducted by a dozen students who answer the questions of farmers. This is a huge challenge and opportunity for the students and the way to bring their own knowledge in. The intention is to work in pairs (a senior with a younger years). What does a student gain with such an experience? Consider the experience of working and learning in an international context, increasing their international skills by coming into contact with other cultures, techniques, working conditions, languages and social conditions, developing subject-specific, personal, intercultural and language technical skills, increasing work opportunities, either in the Netherlands (international operations), or elsewhere in Europe (employability) and building future new networks.