Structurally connecting tertiary education & outside partners’
Tweedejaars studenten van RUG/ Campus Fryslan voeren als standaard onderdeel van het curriculum een half jaar onderzoek in de praktijk uit, en verdiepen zich zo in regionale vraagstukken. Circulair Friesland/ SPARK gaf drie van hen de leervraag hoe we met mbo, hbo en wo een regio-brede aanpak voor het leren voor brede welvaart kunnen ontwikkelen. Zij kozen voor de focus op het versterken van de verbinding tussen bedrijfsleven en onderwijs. Volgend jaar hopen we een volgende stap te maken en verder onderzoek op te pakken. Hieronder de introductie van hun fantastische resultaat!
In the last decades, our world and surroundings have changed drastically. Rapid progress and
economic growth have resulted in the emergence of new complex global issues. The urgency of
these issues is felt globally by many institutions and companies, resulting in the establishment
by the United Nations of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are the first
framework calling for action and addressing the issues humanity is facing. However, this is just a
first step in the right direction. Global issues cannot be solved in isolation, but ask for a holistic
One approach to addressing these difficulties is through Education for Sustainable
Development (ESD). The goal of ESD is to make more space within education for personal and
social transformation, which allows young people to gain the skills and knowledge needed for
future change (UNESCO, 2023). The youth should be empowered in their development, as well
as the development of their environment.
To spark this transformation, SPARK the Movement is working with education and
companies in the region of Friesland to empower the youth. How can we help the youth
discover locally sustainable solutions to the wicked problems of our time? The Whole School
Approach has formed the first foundation to integrate sustainable learning in and around the
school. However, knowledge and learning go beyond the borders of educational institutions. The
issues of the 21st and 22nd centuries ask for a new approach to education, creating a more
interdisciplinary dynamic work field where skills and abilities can be gained. Companies,
businesses, and institutions are at the core of this change. A broader approach is needed to
strengthen the relationship between educational institutions and other companies and
institutions in the region of Friesland.
Frisian educational institutions have demonstrated their commitment to this goal. Yet, the
process of reforming education is not a simple task. Transformative and collaborative learning
environments require new skills from both businesses, students, and staff, and it is often hard to
create lasting change.
To further explore the possibilities of educational institutions as part of the Whole Region
Approach, a framework that allows for the flow and interaction of knowledge and information
between different local partners, we are working together with SPARK The Movement. In our
research, we aim to address the barriers of collaboration between education and business in
Friesland and to investigate what factors are essential to improve the relationship between
educational institutions and the business world.
The goal of our research is to develop a first building block, focusing on education and
transformative learning environments, of the Whole Region Approach, which will be discussed
further in the paper.
First, our research questions, the methodology, and background of the research will be
set out. Second, a review of pre-existing literature on business-education collaboration will
follow, creating the foundation for our qualitative research. Afterwards, the results and
discussion of our interviews and findings will be presented. Finally, we will conclude by
answering our research questions.
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