Capacity building

In the current annex, the experiences of the participating organizations are summarized giving an example for the other educational intuitions how capacity and the ground structure can be built up achieving a structured cooperation of regional learning networks based on the proposed methodology.


VIVES University College - Department of Agro and biotechnology

VIVES is a University College located in West-Flanders (BELGIUM). It has 6 innovative campuses, 6 interesting fields of study, 6 centers of expertise, 1,250 motivated employees, +13,000 students, 1,000 bachelor’s dissertations annually, on assignment of the field, +100 current research projects & contracts, +150 researchers, +7.5 million euros in turnover in research and services.


The interactive exercise has been performed in several mixed focus groups.

Group 1: Regional companies and other stakeholders for agriculture education and teachers

Group 2: Students and teachers

Group 3: Teachers and researchers


In all groups there first have been a discussion on IO1 as this was the initial stage of VIVES and also the goal has been identified and could be visualized . All participants have than been asked to define what services VIVES should provide in the future. They got a list and could indicate a score that indicates the importance of providing this service.

In all 3 groups participants have been asked to list the roles and tasks of the institute in the current situation. The answers were collected and were divided in several groups: external people, students, lecturers.

Answers have been visualized in a diagram and have been discussed afterwards in non-mixed groups with students, lecturers and companies and stakeholders.




There seems to be a gap between the answers from the external partners ( companies and regional stakeholders) who are demanders of the services and the lecturers who actually provide the services. Especially when it comes to bringing in new knowledge there seems to be a high demand but lecturers do not see this as a crucial service form the education institute. Developing a labour pool had the highest score from the teachers, as well the delivery of temporary forces but it seemed that this was not a priory demand service from the companies in the region. The students gave a high score to the bringing in of new knowledge.

Link with the pilot case: In the pilot case there was a focus on the problem solving ability of a HEI as well the new knowledge a HEI could bring in. This was highly appreciated by the companies and there was a demand to continue with this case based learning in which there is a high interaction between students and companies. Not the whole staff was involved in the project and wanted to be involved as it was ot seen as a priority in the ‘education of students’. This is also seen in the diagram above. Nevertheless the pilot case has been expended and will be integrated in the curriculum of all students from Agro and Biotechnology this on demand of the regional companies and stakeholders.

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Terra is an agricultural training centre with about 7000 students that offers Practical Education, Preparatory Secondary Vocational (vmbo-green; 12–16 years), the Green Lyceum, Secondary Vocational Education (mbo, 16-20 years) and Part-time Adult Education (TerraNext) in the provinces of Drenthe, Groningen and Friesland. Our courses have a 'green character', which means that the programs have to do with green, food, animal, nature and environment.


The exercise has been performed in interviews with experts Regional Learning (teachers/ coaches), team leaders and a Regional Director of Terra.


The aim of the action is to determine the available and desired services for the institution based on the developing the service portfolio.

This outcome leads to the execution of the capacity scan. Is Terra able to deliver that what is needed/ asked for? How does this web involve decisions on the management level, their agenda. That is why the capacity scan (based on the McKinsey 7S model) is used to find out what is needed to reposition the institute.


The cobweb portfolio of services shows that Terra’ s present and desired situation are quite in balance. Obvious is that more attention needs to be paid to training and that all items need to be brought to a higher level or intensity.

The capacity scan shows that time and attention is strongly needed on the following items: Staff and Skills.. The strategy is good, structure, systems and routine sufficient. The shared values: more time needs to be taken for a strong common sense of the new public value. Staff cannot keep up with the management, there is not enough commitment. HRM needs strong attention to be able to come to a suitable composition of staff. Terra needs to pay attention to the professionalisation of the employees. The key competences of the organization do not match the public value that you aim for. Do the partners (the outside) recognize and acknowledge the competences of the institute. Style: management and leadership, need attention (culture of the organization, the atmosphere, time for the changes during formal and informal deliberation).


Link with the pilot case: This evaluation is part of the pilot case of Hanzehogeschool, Terra and Gebiedscooperatie Westerkwartier.



Hanzehogeschool is an internationally oriented knowledge institution. Hanze offers professional higher education and practice-oriented research. They train high-quality professionals with a wide range of training courses. In addition, the Hanze University of Applied Sciences is working on new solutions and innovations for professional practice and society. Together with companies and institutions, we develop applicable, practice-oriented knowledge. The strategic spearheads of Energy, Healthy Aging and Entrepreneurship have a prominent place in education and research.


The conclusions below have been drawn on the basis of five interviews with persons in the following positions

1. Dean of the Institute

2. Lecturer at the Institute

3. Innovation Work Place Manager

4. Teacher I

5. Teacher II



A number of important points emerge from the cobwebs. First of all, there is still insufficient emphasis on the training aspect, attention should be paid to this. In addition, there is also a task to work on the shared values.


Two important points emerge:

1. More attention must be paid to the selection and training process of teachers. A training program is being developed for this.

2. More attention needs to be paid to creating 'shared values'. More meetings are organized internally for this purpose.


Link with the pilot case: This evaluation is part of the pilot case of Hanzehogeschool, Terra and Gebiedscooperatie Westerkwartier.

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Biological Post-Secondary VET School, hereinafter: BYS

The local project of PV+ within Region Västra Götaland (Västra Götalandsregionen) is allocated at the Department of Natural Resources (Naturbruksförvaltningen) involving the Biologiska Yrkeshögskolan (Biological Post-Secondary VET School, hereinafter: BYS). It is an agricultural education center at the higher vocational education and training level (EQF level 5-6). BYS is centrally located in Skaraborg. The programs at Post-Secondary VET School are always designed on a skills-need basis and in collaboration with trade and industry. The students’ knowledge development during their studies can be integrated with the needs and demands of the field.


In Sweden both interviews and group exercises have been performed with the target group: teaching personal and management of BYS.


The aim of the action is to determine the available and desired services for the institution based on the developing the service portfolio. And a flow chart is established explaining the work flow and the structure of the network.


The above exercise together with the research of the University of Skövde detailed under IO 2 made the following challenges visible.

A coordinator is needed to facilitate the students’ projects to make it possible to divide the projects among work placement periods and even among students. This coordinator shall be a part of the school, preferably work as program coordinator to match the wishes of the branch of trade, the interest of the students and “tailor-made” the course aims.


How to bridge the gap?

In June 2017, BYS recruited a program coordinator whom has a special focus on the current project aims. The program coordinator gets help in case of organization matters (meetings with municipalities, companies, stakeholders) from the Competence Centre at the Department of Natural Resources where an additional staff was recruited in June 2017 working part-time (50%) with internationalization.


As part of the capacity building, University of Skövde interview the management of BYS based on the developed 7S model constructed by McKinsey (source: Digitaal Handboek Regionale Verankering, HAN | Kenniscentrum kwaliteit van leren

Aimée Hoeve, Femke Timmermans, Loek Nieuwenhuis, Derk-Jan Nijman m.m.v. Woody Maijers, Gonneke Leereveld). This instrument is to support boards of institutions in determining their own administrative agenda in view of the internal capacity needed to realize the current regional positioning. However, the exercise with the 7S model does not show a useful patter, i.e. no priority areas are established.


Establishing the flow chart, questions will be gathered from the steering and leading committees via the steering and leading committees. The questions will be checked. If the question fits, it will be broken down to student projects in the educational programmes as part of work place based learning. It requires the application of the courses’ aims and the curricula to make the student projects able to deliver solutions for the questions posed by the business. The proposed solutions will be presented at the steering and leading committees catalyzing new questions. The questions will be shaped as part of multi-funding base projects delivered by BYS.


The above model integrates the branches of trade with the education. Moreover, the competence and the contributions of the University of Skövde is also required to break down the questions of the branches of trade into student projects in the educational programmes. Concerning multi-funding base projects, the Competence Centre at the Department of Natural Resources is involved as a public body.

As a result, a structured cooperation is supposed to be developed. Implementing the above model, a qualitative change is expected in the education. The branch of trade will follow the students inspiring them with their questions. If a student has a certain interest, there will be an opportunity to merge several work placement assignments that may eventually lead to a well-structured degree project. Public bodies are invited to cooperate via multi-funding base projects.


Link with the pilot case: The pilot case is delivered inside the above suggested new mechanism for cooperation in the regional learning network.