The EURASTIP Project held a capacity building foresight workshop in association with Aquaculture Europe 2018 in Montpellier. This focused on Europe-Asia collaborations in education and training and had the general theme of "Ensuring Aquaculture Education Meets the Needs of the Aquaculture Sector." The specific challenge to participants was “whether aquaculture education is fit for purpose for the 21st century?”
John Bostock helped with workshop planning and acted as one of the group facilitators. Amaya Albalat, also from the Institute of Aquaculture, gave a presentation on the Erasmus+ project "Curriculum Development for Sustainable Seafood & Nutrition Security (SSNS)" which is also developing collaborations between partners in Asia and Europe.
Almost 30 participants from 12 countries participated in the workshop. After initial introductions and a round of presentations to inform on current initiatives and provide stimulus for discussion, the participants formed three groups to discuss the following questions:
- Best practice examples of developing and delivering aquaculture course in direct response to industry demands; (e.g. establishing industry contact and getting an insight into industry demands; getting direct involvement of industry in teaching; students getting real life experience through industry internships; length of courses, delivery type of courses; etc);
- Real-life challenges experienced by educators in trying to implement industry responsive courses and how to address them (e.g. what are skills required for teachers and students; other investment requirements; etc);
- How can aquaculture educators in Asia and Europe collaborate in the development of courses that respond to industry needs and deliver the best employees for the aquaculture global sector? (e.g. practical examples of collaboration platforms; getting involvement of industry in teaching (again, taking into account the huge difference in farming sectors between Europe and Asia), etc.)
In association with this activity, Systems Group staff are working with partners in Wageningen University and AquaTT to compile a report on best practices for Europe-Asia collaboration in aquaculture education and training. We would welcome contributions from others with relevant experience. A template and guidance for short case studies is available at https://stir.box.com/s/kxz8a6qmh6r3wrgbyho0fnu783witbmt