Terra is an agricultural training centre with approximately 6250 students. Terra offers four types of education: 

  • Pre-vocational education (12-16 years)
  • Vocational education (16 years and older)
  • Part-time education for adults (LLP)
  • Green Lyceum 

Terra is located in the northeast of the Netherlands and has eleven execution locations: seven VMBO and four 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, similar to EQF levels 1 up to and including 4. The students can choose from courses of study offered by Terra under the following "worlds ": 

  • GREEN AND RECREATION: Forest and Nature; Garden, Park & Landscape Design; Sports, Recreation & Tourism; Recreation & Green
  • ANIMAL AND WELFARE: Animal Care and Management; Veterinary Care Assistant; Trimmer Companion Animals; Zoo; Equine Studies
  • NUTRITION and HEALTH: Nutrition; Livestock
  • DESIGN: Flower & Design; Design & Styling
  • PLANT and USES: Arboriculture; Arable Farming; Horticulture
  • GREEN and TECHNOLOGY: Land, Water & Environment; Green, Land & Infrastructure (Contract work)
  • GREEN and TRADE: Green Retail

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 excellent 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, which forms the basis for the activities of the Consortium in this project.Terra is member of the EUROPEA INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION, EUROPEA, an international network of about 1,000 schools, land based, in 24 countries in Europe. This is an organization for the development of vocational education and training (VET) in the green sector of Europe ( and member of the national EUROPEA (

VET Mobility Charter
Terra received the European quality mark, Erasmus+ VET Mobility Charter for the period 2015 to 2020,  from the National Agency for Erasmus+, the European subsidy program for education, youth and sport. We're proud of this acknowledgement of the quality and assurance of our internationalization activities and aim to further develop our international strategies. At Terra we'll continue the same strategy with greater attention to collaboration with our international regional partners, agreements with international companies for our excellent students, developing and implementation of ECVET units and international strategic partnerships.

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




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 24 national EUROPEA networks, which represent more than 1.000 vocational schools and institutions all over Europe. 

EUROPEA offers:
A network of European colleagues committed to international cooperation and sharing of knowledgeAn effective framework for international cooperation in projects funded by the EU and other agenciesAdvocacy 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:2 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 and Floristry etc.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 aNational Coordinator from each member country. EUROPEA is headed by a 6-monthPresidency 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 website and social media. 

EUROPEA NetherlandsGoalsPromote national and international contacts and exchanges between schools for green education (agriculture and horticulture "Land-based" schools)Exchange of knowledgeSupport / or establish thematic networksExchange of students and teachersDeveloping joint training programs or encouraging mutual participationUsing European funding programsDevelop common certificates and modulesDeveloping a European dimension in education and the creation of transnational partnershipsDevelop a European dimension of the cooperation between education and business in the green sectorPromotion of language learningDeveloping 'open' educationTerra too is member of EUROPEA NL, together with nine AOC’s, Stoas Wageningen/Vilentum Hogeschool, InHolland, Wageningen University, van Hall Larenstein and SUSP. In spring 2016, EUROPEA NL is chair of the EUROPEA International bi-annual meeting (in Rotterdam, Mai). 

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 150. Terra is member since 1990. The meeting last year in Belgium, took place from March 30th to April 3rd 2015. A group of 19 students and three supervisors from the locations Emmen, Groningen and Meppel had a very enjoyable and exhausting week. But.. it also meant a substantial expansion of their international network! In 2016 the Terra students go to Poland.

Carrefour Européen


International Professional Practice Training

The number of students doing an International Professional Practice Training (work placement/ IBPV), is Terra-wide rising. We make a distinction in an IBPV in and outside Europe. Students who make a European IBPV, may be eligible for financial support with a grant from Erasmus + (the successor to Leonardo da Vinci). This relates to reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs. Students have to meet a number of conditions (before, during and after the IBPV), including a financial report, a digital evaluation and, started in call 2015, 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.


Peat Valley+repositioning the school in the region

Peat Valley+: repositioning Education in the region.

Education institutes play a central role in a knowledge-based economy. Evidence shows – consistently, and over time – that countries that invest heavily in education and skills, benefit economically and socially from that choice.

Research shows that it requires schools to be flexible, responsive to the needs of the labour market and the nearby future and to make a real connection with the regional partners. Schools therefore have to align their ambitions with the regional agenda (Godin, 2004). They will have to choose a new position in the region in order to remain up-to-date, flexible and competitive so they will add (economic) value (Rapport WRR, 2013).

Schools will have to fulfil a double task: their traditional roles of education and research, and their role as regional innovators. This can only arise through structural cooperation between the triple helix (Leeuwis, 2003).

The Dutch, Swedish and English have learned this lesson having worked together during the Peat Valley project (Leonardo project) that has led to the current EU consortium ( They have seen the possibilities for finding new ways of cooperation and how this could lead to the repositioning of a school within the region

Main question
´How can schools position themselves within the region and how does this relate to the type of network structure that needs to be build, the portfolio of services and the needed capacity within the school?´

‘The need for finding new ways of cooperation with triple helix partners and how this could lead to the repositioning of a school within the region’

Partners involved
Three regions (NL/BE/SWe) collaborate together, consisting of education institutes (VET to MSc, students, teachers, education development staff, researches), government and entrepreneurs. Directly a large team of partners will be available (approx. 50) and indirectly the three cooperatives of the region will be involved which results into a large number of beneficiaries (>3000).  


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.PurposeThe 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 CharterThe Charter Holders may use the simplified application process for KA1 Call 2016. 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.The official award ceremony was 1 December in The Hague.

Grant Erasmus+ 2015 - 2017 KA1 Mobility

This year again Terra, coordinator of this project, has been successful in the KA1 call 2015 (international mobility for students and staff); the application is approved (for 4Groen consortium).. It is therefore that students and employees (professional!)  can again learn abroad!

Grant Erasmus+ 2015 - 2017 KA2 - strategic partnerships Vertical Plant Life

Partners:Biotehniški center Naklo, SloveniaUniversity of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College, Park Row, Greenwich, United KingdomHadlow College, United KingdomHumko, d.o.o., Bled, SloveniaTerra, mbo Groningen Due to demographic changes, it is foreseen that the number of inhabitants in urban environments will increase to 80% until 2050. Urban areas are therefore the places in which environmental problems most affect the day-to-day life of Europe’s citizens. Green spaces in urban areas have significant potential to improve the quality of life of city and town dwellers, the urban environment and urban sustainability. The concept of green architecture enables the establishment of various green spaces in urban areas including vertical gardening by using outdoor and indoor green vertical walls which can be built up at the walls of the concrete buildings, building’s interior, fences and other surfaces adequate for the cultivation of ornamental plants, vegetables, fruits, herbs, berries. Setting up a green vertical walls is a concrete passive yet effective contribution to the sustainable decreasing of energy consumption and environment protection and at the same time raise the quality of bioclimatic development of the building themselves.How education can cope with the facts identified?One of the basic quality requirements of vocational education and training systems is the capacity of responding and adjustment to the labour market demands.  With this in view the project  » Vertical Plant Life«  directly refers to the relevant items within Bruges Communiques 2011- 2020 i.e. » The transition to a green economy is a mega trend which affects needs across many different jobs and sectors. Many of the skills can be found in the existing occupations, but the labour market requires more efficient balance between developing generic green skills and specific skills. We need to improve the capacity of VET to respond the changing requirements of the green labour market. Today's pupils and students will still be in the beginning of their career in 2020 with at least 30 years to go in their professional live, and some of them in occupations that do not exist today.” The objectives  addressed by the project “ Vertical Plant Life” lies in the very core of  statements. The general aim of the project is to assure professional approach to described demands of green architecture/green vertical walls through the adequate education and training, validation and recognition of outputs through the use of European references tools.Project specific objectives that are linked to the education and training are

  • Development and implementation of new and innovative In-service teacher training in the field of vertical gardening for VET teachers.
  • Development and implementation of the new and innovative VET module in the field of vertical gardening for students (secondary level). 
  • Incorporation the new VET module for students in open curriculum of existing formal VET educational programs and make validation and recognition of the module through the use of European references tools.
  • Setting up the indoor and outdoor green vertical walls at VET centres as teaching and learning units 
  • Development of Moodle based e-learning platform with interactive and textual learning material   

The “Vertical Plant Life” project partnership is made of 5 partners. All the partners develop their daily work in a close relation with the horticulture, landscaping, agriculture, gardening, nature preservation and renewable energy but their expertise are different and complementary thus guaranteeing the development of the synergies needed to achieve the objectives foreseen in the work plan. 

The project will produce the following deliverables:

  • 3 green outdoor vertical walls (at three VET schools/centres – BC, HC, AOC)
  • 3 green indoor vertical walls (at three VET schools/centres – BC, HC, AOC)
  •  Several tools and instruments for implementation of the quality assurance will be developed for evaluating the teaching and learning process within pilot testing of the VET module for students – Vertical Gardening within EQAVET


Download the Vertical Plant Life leaflet.

IO1_Final_Training Needs Analysis_Vertical Plant Life

IO2_Final_ Training Guide_Vertical Plant Life

IO3_Final_ Catalogue of knowledge_Vertical Plant Life

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.