ICA-CoP Bio-Edu Colloquium “Interdisciplinary Education for the Bioeconomy: embedding the mindset of the bioeconomy in the curricula of Bachelor degree programmes”

The ICA Community of Practice for Bioeconomy Education is organizing a Colloquium about “Interdisciplinary Education for the Bioeconomy: embedding the mindset of the bioeconomy in the curricula of Bachelor degree programmes“, which will be held on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 May at the Monasterium Poortackere, Ghent, Belgium.

Useful links:
Colloquium Programme
Call for case studies

Colloquium focus

The Colloquium will focus on education for the Bioeconomy at the Bachelor level, with the focus on the ambition to develop the mindset of students for the Sustainable Circular Bioeconomy through the curriculum of Bachelor degree programmes.

Students follow many different Bachelor degree programmes which can provide opportunities for careers in the different fields of the bioeconomy represented by agriculture, forestry, horticulture, blue economy, food value chain, biotechnology, and the bio-based economy. However, many graduates on leaving education are not aware of the career opportunities and the scope of the Sustainable Circular Bioeconomy. Employers in these industries need staff who bring the perspective of the Sustainable Circular Bioeconomy to their particular job in the workplace.

These many existing specific Bachelor degree programmes, related to the many disciplines underpinning the Bioeconomy, need to incorporate within the curriculum an understanding of the concept and interdisciplinarity of the Sustainable Circular Bioeconomy.

The goal of the Colloquium is to address how such an interdisciplinarity mindset of the Sustainable Circular Bioeconomy should be embedded in the curricula of these Bachelor degree programmes.

The question is posed in terms of the concept of the structure of degree programmes based on the T principle. How to present the interdisciplinarity of the cross bar of the T in a degree programme with the specialisation portrayed by the vertical bar of the T? How should the balance be made between the cross bar and the vertical bar during the delivery of the curriculum? What learning trajectory steps should be made across the curriculum of a Bachelor degree programme to embed the mindset of the Sustainable Circular Bioeconomy in the student’s experience?

Bachelor and Master stand-alone Bioeconomy degree programmes are not the focus of this Colloquium but will contribute, through their defined learning outcomes, to the discussion of how to embed the interdisciplinarity of the Sustainable Circular Bioeconomy in specific Bachelor degree programmes.

Colloquium themes

Framing the challenge, by reviewing the learning outcomes from specific Bachelor and Master Bioeconomy degree programmes and then defining the learning outcomes required to deliver the Sustainable Circular Bioeconomy mindset.

Developing a learning trajectory for delivering the interdisciplinary concept in Bachelor degree programmes, which can contribute to the Sustainable Circular Bioeconomy.

Specific teaching and learning activities to support the development of interdisciplinarity for the bioeconomy, including cooperation with industry, in Bachelor specific degree programmes.

What strategic approaches are required to embed the delivery of this mindset in all Bachelor degree programmes in a life science faculty/ university.

The Colloquium Outcomes will allow delegates to:

  • Define the overarching learning outcomes for the developing the mindset of the Sustainable Circular Bioeconomy in Bachelor degree programmes underpinning the Sustainable Circular Bioeconomy – for the industry sectors of agriculture, forestry, blue economy, food value chain, biotechnology and the bio-based economy.
  • Define opportunities and learning activities in the learning trajectory to deliver the learning outcomes of the Sustainable Circular Bioeconomy in the curricula of specific Bachelor degree programmes.

Target Audience

Degree programme co-ordinators, lecturers, members of committees responsible for the (strategic) development of curricula. National education advisers are also invited to contribute to the discussion.

Colloquium Format

Each Session of the Forum theme will be addressed by keynote speakers followed by small round table breakout groups to discuss the issues raised, with a concluding report from the breakout groups of the issues raised in the final session.

Colloquium organising committee

  • Josef Glössl, BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
  • Ingar Janzik, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH and Bioeconomy Science Center, Germany
  • Han van Osch (Chair), Avans University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands & Dutch Biobased Knowledge Network
  • Mona-Anitta Riihimäki, Häme University of Applied Sciences, Finland
  • George Sakellaris, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague & BioEast
  • Constantinos Vorgias, University of Athens, Greece
  • Simon Heath, ICA Deputy Secretary General
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