In ECS is embedded in the Department of Social Sciences (DSS) of the Social Sciences Group (SSG) of Wageningen University. Other entities in the Social Sciences Group are the Agricultural Economics Institute (LEI) in The Hague and the Center for Development and Innovation (CDI) in Wageningen. DSS consists of 21 chair groups which are clustered in Sub-Departments. As said, ECS is part of the Sub-Department Business, Consumer and Competence Studies (BCCS). ECS has strong cooperation relationships with many other chair groups within and outside DSS for research and teaching. ECS participates in three graduate school on social sciences (WASS), educational sciences (ICO) and research methodology (IOPS). Within the Netherlands ECS strongly cooperates with all green education institutes and many other public and private partners.

International cooperation

ECS also maintains strong networks in Europe and the rest of the world. These are depicted in Figures 2 and 3. Agricultural and life-sciences education institutes play a crucial role in improving food security and enhancing sustainable development in many countries. The agrifood and natural resources sector needs staff able to continuously self-renew and adapt practices to dynamic local and regional agricultural realities and to enhance the relationships between all stakeholders. Many educational institutes realize that an orientation towards labour market needs in collaboration with the private and public sector is needed to improve their impact in society. This requires change processes within these institutions that often include profound curriculum innovation, teacher capacity building, aligned assessment practices, interactive teaching processes, and effective university leadership and departmental management. ECS supports education institutions in a number of countries that are undergoing these change processes. The curriculum development process followed in these projects is based on a model for competence-based education that was developed by ECS and tested in various curriculum development projects in Africa and Asia. In this field of work questions are posed, such as how do the various stakeholders perceive the implementation of competence-oriented workplace learning and to what extent does this learning approach influence graduates’ labour market entry and career prospects? Additionally, recommendations are generated on how best to support educational institutes in reforming their educational practices beyond curriculum change. ECS participates in many international consortia and networks, including UNESCO, UN-DESD, UNECE, IIEP, UNEVOC, Cedefop, NUFFIC, AERA, EARLI, EERA/VETNET and WERA/INR-VET. In particular, ECS is involved in various NUFFIC projects for international cooperation in higher education. Projects are being conducted on curriculum development, accreditation and educational quality management in MSc, BSc, Diploma, Certificate and practical education and training programmes in the field of agrifood and rural development in countries including Bangladesh,  Benin, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, South-Arica, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam. Within EERA, AERA and WERA staff of ECS is active in the administration of scientific networks and cooperation. Members of ECS edit the Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension published by Taylor and Francis (Scopus Q2) and hold positions in other academic journals. Hansje Eppink, international cooperation

1 LLLLight: EU-project on Life-long Learning; WBREN: Western-Balkans Rural Development Network; CODES: project on sustainable development Baltic Summer School: Summer school on entrepreneurship; JAEE: Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension.

2 Nuffic: Netherlands University Foundation for International Cooperation; JAEE: Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension; CAAPD: network on the development of sustainability in higher education (CAAPD).