AQUAP (Attractiveness, quality control and accreditation of placements in the green sector)

Coordinator: Jos Paulusse

Founding Agency: Lifelong Learning program of the EC

Starting / Ending Date: 1-10-2010

Summary: Colleges, students, authorities and many other involved persons, organisations and research confirm that a practical period in another country has a great influence on life, experience and behaviour of students. Many students in Dutch agriculture have spent a period abroad but nowadays the number of farms in The Netherlands has decreased and educational programs have changed towards more attractive study programs fitting to the modern societies (landscape, environment, animal care, veterinary assistance, gardening, flowers, etc.) and students seem to prefer a placement nearby because of additional jobs (income) or personal reasons.

A lot of money, time and a number of arrangements are available to persuade students to do a practical period abroad (e.g. mobility funds). Improve of knowledge about other cultures and religions, improve of language skills and improve of flexibility and adaptability is realised among all by a foreign traineeship. It is observed that youngsters more and more turn down foreign people while we increasingly have open borders, free mobility, and an open labour market. We aim to increase the number of students of agricultural colleges to go abroad, get a professional attitude and experience intercultural competences.


Learning by doing is the basis and a foreign placement contributes to personal development, let you experience other cultures, practising respect, integrity, and care.
The objective is to improve the quality placement abroad through different actions.
We aim to improve and to increase the interest of students for a foreign placement by offering more and detailed information about placement addresses, experiences of former students, and assessments (video reports, information by students themselves, reports, etc.). We aim to apply knowledge and experience of partners to connect databanks with information about traineeship companies through a smart interface so that foreign students can search and find a suitable company abroad.
We check the need of entrepreneurs for support or training because coaching a student is not always easy and the obligations and criteria of colleges increase. We develop a training program for supervisors of placement enterprises to coach students.
Approval and qualification of placement companies contributes to the quality of the placement and the entrepreneur can be helped with training, self-assessment, etc.

Main activities:

  • to develop initiatives to increase attractiveness of foreign placements, to increase insight of students and to motivate them, and to present foreign placements as an opportunity, a challenge that enrich students’ experience and increase the employability
    • studying, information exchange and cooperation to connect / integrate databanks together
    • development of supervisor training and to acquire participants (entrepreneurs / supervisors)
    • to develop and to test criteria for evaluation and recognition of a placement abroad / accreditation of companies or entrepreneurs; this contributes to improve the quality control of foreign placements; partners establish a (small) group of local / regional experts who can advise
    • to increase the number of placement companies that meet the criteria to become registered in the databank(s); this is also important for recognition of placement results
    • after this project it is aimed to expand the databank cooperation with organisations that also have a databank with placements for students. All this should provide the student and the entrepreneur with information about the company, the work, the housing, the equipment, periods of work, short company profile, some pictures of the farm / company, etc.
    • recognition of the results of (foreign) placements and competencies achieved or improved abroad. Recognition by national authorities as exam committee, government, etc.
    • basic activities as reporting, financial administration, partner meetings, acknowledgment of partners, web site, PR, brochure, etc.

Partners: AOC Raad-NL (contractor), EEP-NL (coordinator), Aequor-NL, Europea International-NL, Ministerium Mecklenburg-Vorpommern-DE, LEB-Thüringen-DE, IARTC-TR, Vacimezo-HU, VEB Consult-IT, SUA-Nitra-SK




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