Feb 13, 2013

Towards competence based Tertiary Agricultural Education

Continued globalization and digitalization are not only affecting how we think, what we know, who to believe and how we act, they also affect the role of education in society’. In this regard, they attempt to answer ‘what do we educate for in such a world when things change so fast and knowledge becomes obsolete before you know it?’ For example, Wageningen University started changing their identity by positioning themselves as life science universities, which aspire to contribute to a better world and improved quality of life.

In this article, Wals and colleagues provide a brief review of some trends in Tertiary Agricultural Education (TAE) within Europe and examines the world-wide shift from traditional transmissive to emerging  transformative development of more dynamic competencies in a real-world setting. They note that a number of new competencies are required including: interdisciplinary problem-solving, addressing multiple stakeholder interests, participatory approaches in innovation, interactive methods in conflict resolution, responsive actions regarding community needs, critical media literacy, and social responsibility in entrepreneurship, to name a few, along with those that still connect to specific content areas (e.g. animal science, plant science, environmental science and agro-technology).

This overarching innovation taking place in tertiary agricultural education in Europe is referred to as Competence-based Education and Training (CBET). A synthesis of the requirements for new graduates as defined by the public and the related competencies that are considered relevant is presented.

At the Faculty of Agriculture,  we have been selected to participate in a project for developing agricultural competences  and in the first phase a series of subject specific and generic competences were developed. As you would all agree we still have a long way to travel before we have a fully competence based agricultural degree.

Read more here

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