School-company collaboration

Centres of Expertise

Description: 

To meet changing job requirements, government and private sector in the Netherlands have joined forces to accelerate change and invest in conversion of the workforce through the Centres of Expertise (higher education) and Centres of Innovative Craftsmanship (vocational education). The Centres are powerful action-oriented partnerships between educational institutions, companies, goverments and other public organisations. The network of Centres started in 2011 with a few pilots, and has expanded to over 150 fully operational public-private partnerships (Centres) in 2016. The main objectives of the Centres are:

 

  • Creating an excellent link between edcation and the labour market
  • Educating innovative and skilled professionals, craftsman or craftswoman
  • Promoting 'life-long learning and timely retraining
  • Accelerating and enhancing the innovation capacity of companies
     

Each Centre focuses on a specific sector (High Tech Systems & Materials, Horticulture, Life Sciences & Health, Agri & Food, Water, Energy, Chemicals, Logistics, Creative industry, ICT, Construction or Culture, Living & Welfare). On average, each centre involves 35 companies from the sector that take part in research and development projects, providing imput in the curriculum, join innovation teams and provide guest lectures. More information about the centres and methodology can be found in the English brochure.  

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PBT
Impact: 

In 2016, an independent expert committee evaluated the impact of the Centre-approach. In their report they concluded that the concept is effective and efficient. The committee concluded that the Centre-concept is effective, and has a positive impact on companies, schools and the innovation system. The full audit report (Dutch only) can be found here.

Reach: 

In 2016, over 4500 companies, 83 Universities of Applied Sciences and senior secondary vocational education institutes were involved in the centres, reaching over 50.000 students and 4000 teachers. 

Budget and funding model: 

The Centres are co-funded by government and industry. With an average co-investment of businesses and organisations of more thant 65%, the total programme size in 2016 was EUR 125 million. Government investment in the programme in 2016 was EUR 45.5 million. More information about the budget, funding model and future plans can be found on the programme website.  

StarT Finland

Description: 

StarT is the flagship programme of the LUMA Centre Finland (Finnish STEM platform). Launched in 2016, the programme's main objective is to bring science, mathematics and technology closer to children and youngsters through interdisciplinary, project-based collaborative learning. The programme is implemented by LUMA Centre Finland (network between 13 regional STEM education centre within Finnish universities) through 'learning communities', supported by collaboration partners including the Finnish National Agency for Education and companies in the field of science and technology like IBM.

 

The StarT programme is implemented on three levels:|
 

  1. Local level: kindergartens, primary schools, high schools, and extracurricular activity groups participating in StarT
     
  2. Regional level: StarT festivals organized all around Finland by the LUMA centers together with local partners (does not apply to non-Finnish participants)
     
  3. National / International level: the LUMA Centre Finland organizes the StarT Gala, where teams chosen by the StarT jury – also non-Finnish teams – are awarded
     

In these levels, the StarT programme supports project-based learning in the local learning communities, StarT festivals and a national/international StarT gala.

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Organisation: 
LUMA
Impact: 

The overall feedback has been excellent. For example, in relation to a math related learning project teachers noted that: “Children have learned to create their own ideas, to solve problems in a team, work together to overcome difficulties, associate the amount of things with numbers, improved perception of time and counting skills. During the festival they developed not only mathematical skills, but also improved their social skills.” In school year 2016-2017 support material was sent through the StarT newsletter to 500 learning communities in Finland. There were ca. 10 000 participants (kids/youth/teachers/educators) in StarT learning communities, ca. 1000 participants in regional StarT festivals and ca. 400 participant in national/international StarT Gala.

Reach: 

In the 2016-2017 school year, the StarT programme supported 400 learning communities from Finland and 350 learning communities from abroad with participants from 36 countries. 

Budget and funding model: 

StarT learning projects are carried out in learning communities like day care centres, kindergartens, schools etc. around the country and funded by themselves. Regional and national StarT marketing as well as the regional StarT festivals and national/international StarT Gala are funded by the Finnish universities and the sponsoring companies.

STEM Teacher Academy

Description: 

STEM Teacher Academy is a programme of the Dutch national STEM platform aimed at improving the content of STEM courses (and the way it is taught) in secondary education through cooperation with industry. The programme was launched in 2014 for a three year period and contributes to objectives set in the Dutch national Technology Pact and several government programmes aimed at reducing teacher shortages. 

 

The programme's main ambition is to provide the most up-to-date teaching tools to STEM teachers in secondary education, now and in the future. This ambition is implemented through various activities, including guest-lectures by industry professionals and short-term 'internships' for teachers in technology companies. The programme is structured to build lasting links between technology companies and classroom and builds on existing regionalised networks and programmes, including the VO-HO netwerken (pre-university secondary education) and Toptechniek in Bedrijf (VET).  

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Organisation: 
PBT
Impact: 

The programme achieved nearly 100% geographical coverage. In addition, the programme also sparked pilots for the inclusion of company traineeships in the curriculum of  teacher training programmes in eight universities of applied science (UAS).

Reach: 

The STEM Teacher Academy programme was part of a 3-year government 'impulse', and was completed in 2017. The programme achieved near 100% coverage by realising 19 regional networks that involved 227 companies, and trained 814 STEM teachers. 

Budget and funding model: 

The STEM Teacher Academy programme was funded by government as a fixed-term 3 year programme, as part of a broader effort to reduce teacher shortages and increase the quality of teaching. Companies contributed to the programme 'in kind' (e.g. by allowing their employees time off to give guest-lectures etc.). 

VO-HO Netwerken

Description: 

The VO-HO Netwerken (Secondary-Higher Education Networks) were set up in 2004 as part of the Deltaplan Bèta Techniek (Dutch national STEM strategy). The main goals of the networks are the professional development of secondary education teachers and principals, the continual innovation of courses and curricula and the improvement of the connection between secondary education (VO) and higher education (HO). The networks offer a wide pallet of activities for students, teachers, technical teacher assistants and heads of schools with a focus on STEM education. Currently there are are ten regional networks that consist of universities,  higher education institutions, (pre-univeristy) secondary schools and business and societal institutions. The specific objectives are set by each regional network independently, in alignment with the regional context and objectives. 

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Organisation: 
PBT
Impact: 

The specific objectives of the networks are set and monitored on a regional level, and thus vary from network to network.  However, an indepedent study of the Radbout University Nijmegen on the effectivess of the networks (Raab et al, 2017) showed that in the period 2008-2010, 59.5 per cent of the overall enrollment in STEM studies (which grew over 3 times faster than total enrollment in higher education) can be attributed directly to the collaborations. The study also concluded that the VO-HO Netwerken are a highly cost-efficient policy instrument. 

Reach: 

The Networks cover of 361 (pre-university) secondary schools (60% of the total), 22 universities of applies sciences and 12 research universities. Together they reache more than 35.000 students and 3.800 teachers annually.

Budget and funding model: 

The networks are coordinated by the Dutch national STEM platform (PBT) and co-financed by the Dutch government, industry and the participating institutions. 

Jet-Net

Description: 

Jet-Net (Youth and Technology Network Netherlands) is a joint initiative of leading Dutch technology companies and secondary (pre-college) schools aimed at promoting STEM uptake through one-on-one school-company partnerships. The programme was founded by five Dutch technology companies (Shell, Philips, DSM, AkzoNobel and Unilever) in 2002 and currently involves more than 90 technology companies and 180 pre-university secondary schools (aprox. 40% of total). In collaboration with the schools, 'Jet-Net companies' develop an educational environment with practical content for the science curriculum and provide students with experiences that show that technology is challenging, meaningful and socially relevant.

 

In 2012, a Danish version of the Jet-Net programme was launched by the Danish House of Natural Sciences under the name Jet-Net.dk. The Jet-Net.dk programme grew to involve over 60 technology companies in under three years. 

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Organisation: 
PBT
Impact: 

STEM uptake (students opting for a one of the two STEM tracks in their fourth year) in Jet-Net schools is significantly higher than the national average (more info can be found on the Jet-Net website).

Reach: 

Between 2002 and 2016 Jet-Net has grown from 5 to 92 associated companies and from 15 to 180 schools. The Jet-Net companies invested a combined total of 6 million euros in Jet-Net programmes. At the moment 60.000 students are reached through the Jet-Net program and 300 teachers are aligned.

Budget and funding model: 

The Jet-Net programme is co-funded by government and industry. It's yearly budget for programme management is EUR 800.000 (co-funded by industry and government). Direct contributions to the programme activities from industry (in cash and in-kind) are estimated to exceed EUR 6 millon per year.

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