Experiences from
AQUA-TNET
EU Thematic Network for Lifelong
Learning in Aquaculture, Fisheries &
Aquatic Resources Managem...
You will probably forget at least 80% of my
presentation today ! (but what you remember will vary…)
Source: http://www.lif...
How often do we deeply consider our assessment
and grading systems in relation to wider social and
professional criteria ?...
Aqua-tnet is a multidisciplinary Education Network working
to drive up the quality and relevance of European
aquaculture e...
AQUA-TNET members
92 Aqua-tnet member
organisations include:
Higher Education Institutes;
Further Education Colleges;
Rese...
• Annual meeting open to all
members
• Smaller workpackage groups
meeting an additional time each
year and also using
vide...
Aqua-tnet – Workpackages
The workpackage structure is partly dictated by the EU funding scheme, and varied in
details betw...
• Promotion of European Higher
Education Area
• Mobility of students and teachers
• Harmonisation of degree structures
• T...
LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network
How the workpackages responded to EU
policies
The following slides
contain quotes from the...
LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network
“Higher education institutions should
be encouraged to improve the quality
and relevance o...
LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network
WP1 – MSc courses
• Bologna process (programme length and type)
Degree structures
• Identi...
This has been used to create a 5 ECTS course –
Introduction to European Aquaculture – which
can be run collaboratively bet...
WP2 – PhD programmes
The working group on
PhDs considered the
structure and organization
of PhD programmes in
different co...
LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network
Council Recommendation:
Promoting student
and staff mobility
through an online
mobility platform
(providing
information on
courses and
organisatio...
LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network
“Learning mobility for all young people should
be promoted throughout the education system...
LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network
“Achieving this calls for closer collaboration
and partnerships between public services,
e...
This workgroup researched
the generic skill
requirements within the
aquaculture and fisheries
sector (including research),...
LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network
“Education and training have a substantial
contribution to make to other flagship
initiati...
LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network
“Education and training have a fundamental role
to play in achieving the Europe 2020 objec...
WP5 -
Innovative
Lifelong
Learning
Subgroup A-
Lifelong
Learning
Pathways
Subgroup B-
Curriculum
Frameworks
Subgroup
C-Inn...
LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network
“The ‘Agenda for new skills and jobs’ initiative…
highlights the need to upgrade skills an...
LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network
Subgroup A – Lifelong Learning Pathways
This sub-group worked to promote
lifelong learning...
LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network
Subgroup B - Curriculum Frameworks
This sub-group used the European University
Association...
LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network
“to foster the development of
transversal competences, including
those that enable the use...
LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network
Subgroup C - Innovative Tools and Methods
This sub-group worked on the use of digital
medi...
Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/36/Knowledge_Triangle.png
“Promote reinforced cooperation
be...
“So many courses are garbage and leave the graduate
completely unprepared for life in the real world of
commercial aquacul...
WP6 - Stakeholder Engagement
STUDENTS INDUSTRY
RESEARCH
This group brought together different groups with a stake in aquac...
Industry is invited to volunteer inputs to
courses such as visits or talks
WP7 - Dissemination
Web site
YouTube Channel
Monthly Newsletter
Scoop.It! Page
LinkedIn Group
Facebook Group
Diigo Group
F...
• The network developed in a specific context
of available funding for thematic networks
helping to promote and implement ...
• In name, AQUA-TNET it is a network of organisations –
Agreements are signed with the legal representatives
of each organ...
• The tertiary education sector (in Europe) is relatively
complex, diverse and generally conservative – change
can be slow...
• The expectation that higher education can better
engage with industry has been the most challenging.
There are deep cult...
• The political context is completely different
from Europe although there are some
mechanisms for cooperation e.g. throug...
• Need to look for real needs that can be best answered
through international and collaborative approaches –
need for grea...
Contact us
Thank you for your attention
Email: j.c.bostock@stir.ac.uk
Website: www.aquatnet.com
Find this presentation on ...
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Aquatnet for ISAFE2, Shanghai, April 2015

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Presentation on the European Thematic Network for Aquaculture, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management (AQUA-TNET) given at The 2nd International Symposium on Aquaculture and Fisheries Education (ISAFE2) jointly organized by Asian Fisheries Society (AFS) and Shanghai Ocean University (SHOU) at the SHOU campus at Lingang New City in Shanghai on Thursday 23rd April, 2015.

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Aquatnet for ISAFE2, Shanghai, April 2015

  1. 1. Experiences from AQUA-TNET EU Thematic Network for Lifelong Learning in Aquaculture, Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Management ISAFE2, Shanghai, 2015 John Bostock (Coordinator 2011-14)
  2. 2. You will probably forget at least 80% of my presentation today ! (but what you remember will vary…) Source: http://www.lifeadventurecenter.org/images/HowDoWeLearnPyramid.gif Evidence is mixed, depending on exactly what is being measured, but stand-up lectures regularly rank well below more participatory forms of learning yet is it still the primary mode of teaching in most Universities and is also the way we conduct conferences – WHY? Having a curiosity about the nature of learning and wanting to improve the learning experience and outcomes for our students is at the heart of ISAFE and Aqua-tnet
  3. 3. How often do we deeply consider our assessment and grading systems in relation to wider social and professional criteria ? http://blog.lib.umn.edu/meyer769/myblog/testing_cartoon.jpg You may well have seen this cartoon before and may agree with its message, or may feel it misses the point about assessment usually coming after training that might well be adapted to individual needs. Understanding and justifying our assessment systems is an example of another topic that characterises Aqua-tnet
  4. 4. Aqua-tnet is a multidisciplinary Education Network working to drive up the quality and relevance of European aquaculture education and training Started in 1996 most recent project 2011 - 2014 EC: €600.000 Supported by AquaTT (Ireland) Coordinator (2011-2014): University of Stirling (UK), previously Gent University (BE) Financial support from EU lifelong learning (Erasmus) programme
  5. 5. AQUA-TNET members 92 Aqua-tnet member organisations include: Higher Education Institutes; Further Education Colleges; Research Institutes; Associations and representative organisations such as FEAP, EAS, EAS-SG, EATiP and EFTP; Private companies (research & consultancy) Over 150 named individuals www.aquatnet.com See the story in video at: https://www.youtube.com/user/ aquatnet
  6. 6. • Annual meeting open to all members • Smaller workpackage groups meeting an additional time each year and also using videoconferencing and e-mail • Annual steering group meeting – consisting of workpackage leaders and other co-opted members Organisation Member organisations Workpackage leaders Coordinator & Aqua TT
  7. 7. Aqua-tnet – Workpackages The workpackage structure is partly dictated by the EU funding scheme, and varied in details between each iteration of the project
  8. 8. • Promotion of European Higher Education Area • Mobility of students and teachers • Harmonisation of degree structures • Tools for transparency and mutual recognition • Promotion of language learning • Promotion of the life-long learning and its integration into qualification frameworks • Promotion of education for innovation, employment and economic growth • Engagement with industry Primary context – Developing EU policy on Education and Training
  9. 9. LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network How the workpackages responded to EU policies The following slides contain quotes from the European Council on the role of education and training in the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy and how they have been pursued by the AQUA- TNET workpackages
  10. 10. LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network “Higher education institutions should be encouraged to improve the quality and relevance of the courses they offer, so as to encourage a wider range of citizens to enrol in higher education” Council Recommendation:
  11. 11. LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network WP1 – MSc courses • Bologna process (programme length and type) Degree structures • Identification of employer needs • Expected prior knowledge • Learning outcomes (Tuning process) • Creation of shared content Course content • Use of ECTS and diploma supplements • Cooperation through double and joint degrees Accreditation This group contributed to the implementation of EU policy in MSc level programmes
  12. 12. This has been used to create a 5 ECTS course – Introduction to European Aquaculture – which can be run collaboratively between several institutions The last major output from WP 1 was a web-based platform to share industry case studies and national aquaculture information – www.aquacase.org
  13. 13. WP2 – PhD programmes The working group on PhDs considered the structure and organization of PhD programmes in different countries and especially organized and promoted specialist technical training courses that were useful to a range of PhD students working in the aquaculture and fisheries fields.
  14. 14. LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network Council Recommendation:
  15. 15. Promoting student and staff mobility through an online mobility platform (providing information on courses and organisations) and developing guidance documents on best practice for mobility programmes WP3 - Mobility aquatnet.django.io
  16. 16. LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network “Learning mobility for all young people should be promoted throughout the education system, as well as in non-formal contexts such as youth work and participation. In addition, more workplace and entrepreneurial learning experiences should be encouraged and opportunities for voluntary activities, self- employment and working and learning abroad expanded” Council Recommendation:
  17. 17. LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network “Achieving this calls for closer collaboration and partnerships between public services, education and training providers and employers at national, regional and local level. The transition towards learning outcome-based qualification systems and greater validation of skills and competences acquired in non-formal and informal contexts are also of great importance in enhancing employability” Council Recommendation:
  18. 18. This workgroup researched the generic skill requirements within the aquaculture and fisheries sector (including research), and identified priority needs leading on to the development of appropriate teaching materials (shared on the AquaCase website) WP4 - Generic Skills 0 1 2 3 know foreign language poster media future market budget man. stat. Soft. faciliation meth Aw. Legal proc. team man. Entrepren. future dev. Skills phil. Sc. Stat. Meth. Aw. Research etics Lab. skills selfpresent Inform. Man. multidisc. Work oral exp. Desing Sc. writing literacy write funding time man. data man. Proj. Man. craft message critical rev. know english Off. Soft.
  19. 19. LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network “Education and training have a substantial contribution to make to other flagship initiatives such as the ‘Digital Agenda and Innovation Union’. Europe’s education and training system need to provide the right mix of skills and competences…. To equip people with basic skills and the motivation and capacity to learn….” Council Recommendation:
  20. 20. LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network “Education and training have a fundamental role to play in achieving the Europe 2020 objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, notably by equipping citizens with the skills and competences which the European economy and society need in order to remain competitive and innovative, but also by helping to promote social cohesion and inclusion” Council Recommendation:
  21. 21. WP5 - Innovative Lifelong Learning Subgroup A- Lifelong Learning Pathways Subgroup B- Curriculum Frameworks Subgroup C-Innovative Tools & Methods Workpackage 5 was sub- divided into three groups working on different aspects of the overall theme of innovative lifelong learning.
  22. 22. LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network “The ‘Agenda for new skills and jobs’ initiative… highlights the need to upgrade skills and to boost employability. Progress has to be made to improve the identification of training needs, increase the labour market relevance of education and training, facilitate individuals’ access to lifelong learning opportunities and guidance, and ensure smooth transitions between the worlds of education, training and employment” Council Recommendation:
  23. 23. LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network Subgroup A – Lifelong Learning Pathways This sub-group worked to promote lifelong learning within the sector and the development of the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) and its place in the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). A particular area of focus has been the articulation between different educational sectors, especially linkages between formal and informal learning
  24. 24. LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network Subgroup B - Curriculum Frameworks This sub-group used the European University Association (EUA) “Charter on Lifelong Learning” as a key guide and conducted surveys on its implementation by AQUA- TNET members. Major themes of the charter include adapting study programmes to enhance widening access (implying greater engagement with industry/society) especially for lifelong learners and providing recognition of prior learning. The sub-group also worked on implementation of “Tuning” (programme definition in terms of learning outcomes – building on the earlier VALLA project)
  25. 25. LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network “to foster the development of transversal competences, including those that enable the use of modern digital technologies, to promote sustainable development and active citizenship and to encourage creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship” Council Recommendation:
  26. 26. LLP – Erasmus – Erasmus Network Subgroup C - Innovative Tools and Methods This sub-group worked on the use of digital media and Internet technologies in teaching and learning and the pedagogical issues raised. Key activities of the last 3 years were: • Development and sharing of “Learning objects” (With WP1) • Creation of online Framework for resource sharing (AquaCase website) • Development of diagnostic language tool/games • Organisation of digital teaching skills workshop for Aqua-tnet members
  27. 27. Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/36/Knowledge_Triangle.png “Promote reinforced cooperation between higher education institutions, research institutions and enterprises with a view to strengthening the knowledge triangle as the basis for a more innovative and creative economy” Council Recommendation:
  28. 28. “So many courses are garbage and leave the graduate completely unprepared for life in the real world of commercial aquaculture…. I think the problem lies within the institutional frameworks themselves that don't really promote strong ties with industry…… In short, they need to engage more with industry and find out what they are teaching is actually relevant and if not change it and also talk with other institutions and try and get some quality assurance happening.” Quote from LinkedIn Aqua-tnet discussion group….
  29. 29. WP6 - Stakeholder Engagement STUDENTS INDUSTRY RESEARCH This group brought together different groups with a stake in aquaculture and fisheries education to identify needs and priorities for Aqua-tnet activities
  30. 30. Industry is invited to volunteer inputs to courses such as visits or talks
  31. 31. WP7 - Dissemination Web site YouTube Channel Monthly Newsletter Scoop.It! Page LinkedIn Group Facebook Group Diigo Group Flickr Group www.aquatnet.com Led by Aqua TT, this workpackage focused on disseminating project activities and outputs Special issue of Aquaculture International (Springer) in press!
  32. 32. • The network developed in a specific context of available funding for thematic networks helping to promote and implement EU policies on Education and training • The funding for thematic networks has now stopped, so continuation of Aqua-tnet in its previous form is not possible • The change in funding policies will require a different organisational model and perhaps a different focus in activities • Working on an entirely voluntary basis without at least funding for meeting expenses is very difficult Lessons from aqua-tnet: 1) Funding & policy alignment
  33. 33. • In name, AQUA-TNET it is a network of organisations – Agreements are signed with the legal representatives of each organisation and co-funding by each organisation is required • In reality, AQUA-TNET is a network of people – individuals with an interest (often passion) for improving aquaculture and fisheries teaching and learning who build relationships and enjoy collaborating with each other to achieve the project outputs • However, both elements are needed – Institutional involvement adds authority to the work, gives permission for time to be spent, and provides accountability to the funders Lessons from aqua-tnet: 2) Personal and institutional commitment
  34. 34. • The tertiary education sector (in Europe) is relatively complex, diverse and generally conservative – change can be slow • Higher education has traditionally had a focus on research and scholarship and not on training for industry – but a first degree is now seen as essential for many careers – leading to some conflicts in expectation • Higher education has traditionally focused less on pedagogy and learning outcomes and more on critical thinking and subject expertise, whereas vocational training is often very prescriptive on demonstrable learning outcomes – cultural differences that have been a barrier to greater integration • Educational institutions see themselves in competition with each other which can limit willingness to cooperate Lessons from aqua-tnet: 3) Institutional cultures Leading innovation – or resisting it?
  35. 35. • The expectation that higher education can better engage with industry has been the most challenging. There are deep cultural divisions and often misunderstandings and mistrust on both sides • Programmes that give young people some experience or exposure to work in the industry whilst they are still studying are needed, and more efforts to bring industry into the classroom • Better sharing of new knowledge from research to industry is also needed – but appropriate methods need to be used • Collaborative research based on industry priorities is also proving a beneficial route to greater engagement. Lessons from aqua-tnet: 4) Industry engagement
  36. 36. • The political context is completely different from Europe although there are some mechanisms for cooperation e.g. through ASEAN and national initiatives • The social contexts (e.g. percent of population participating in higher education) also varies significantly • However, many core challenges and opportunities are common – globalisation, development of the internet, open educational resources, communities of practice, need for digital teaching and learning skills, the benefits of student and teacher mobility Lessons from Aqua-tnet: for Asia? Aqua-tnet members are keen to share their experience and learn from wider international collaborations
  37. 37. • Need to look for real needs that can be best answered through international and collaborative approaches – need for greater Interdisciplinarity may be one thing. Increasing the rate of knowledge exchange may be another… • Identify achievable activities – e.g. gap analysis of industry, government and entrepreneur needs vs education sector provision (to include content, delivery and price?). Activities to enhance (digital) teaching skills, collaborations on shared teaching resources, exemplar joint courses, foresight work to help map future opportunities. • Identify funders with aligned objectives and win their support • Be ready to collaborate nationally, regionally or globally to give the best opportunities to our students Conclusions We share similar challenges - we can work better together to find solutions
  38. 38. Contact us Thank you for your attention Email: j.c.bostock@stir.ac.uk Website: www.aquatnet.com Find this presentation on Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/jbostock/

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