Starting the academic year 2017-2018, dairy professionals from all over the world can follow the master programme Innovative Dairy Chain Management (IDCM) at VHL University of Applied Sciences (VHL) in Leeuwarden. It is a one year course, developed by the educational programme of the Dairy Campus and sponsored by Samenwerkingsverband Noord Nederland (SNN).
The focus is on companies that profitably produce a satisfying amount of milk of excellent quality in keeping with the quality and safety regulations within the chain. IDCM is the right course for candidates who are interested in modern and highly developed dairy chains.
The Dutch dairy chain, which is leading in the world, is used as an example for the innovations. Participants of this one-year course need to have at least two years of work experience in the dairy field. 'The advantage of having two years of experience in the field is that the course can reach a higher level if you bring your own experience to the table,' explains programme coordinator Robert Baars. 'Each student has his or her own experience. All of them put together will form a lot of new insights that will be implemented in the classes.'
Real cases will be used in class for students to work on. Without work experience it will be hard to tackle these cases. It is necessary in order to be able to reflect on the processes in class. Ultimately the students can look forward to a career as (international) farm manager, coordinator of large scale milk collections or a lobbyist involved in the development of the dairy chain. FrieslandCampina (processing and marketing), Mueller (cooling equipment), The Friesian (consultancy-production), Nestlé (processing and marketing) and The Dairy Company (consultancy–processing) are all in close cooperation with the master’s degree IDCM.
VHL has been working on the development of digital classes for some time now. Despite the fact that IDCM is a full-time course, part of the curriculum will also be made available digitally, so you can follow the class from home. 'Blended learning' will make classes available online. Also a platform will be arranged for the distribution of teaching materials and other documents. Simply put: Blended Learning is a mix of online and offline learning activities.
IDCM will be VHLs first master’s degree at the Leeuwarden location, and is part of the recently launched Dairy Valley Programme. Dairy Valley aims to bring together several initiatives and parties within the agricultural and dairy sector. The province of Fryslân, the F4 districts, VHL and several companies in the agricultural and dairy sector have made plans to make Dairy Valley 'the dairy heart of the Netherlands'.
In the first year VHL expects about 5 students at IDCM. Eventually this number will expectedly grow year by year to 12 or 15+ students. As it is a year-long, full-time course and employees with degrees will eventually benefit an employer, the expectations are that employers will (partially) finance the tuition fee. Possibilities for part-time courses are still under consideration.
Please visit our webpage Innovative Dairy Chain Management for more informayion about this master programme.