Regional agricultural issues addressed by students and researchers
VHL University of Applied Sciences (VHL) and Agro-Innovation Centre De Marke are seeking cooperation in the fields of research and education. Last week, a delegation from the university of applied sciences together with the AOC Zone.college visited De Marke in Hengelo (Gelderland). The organisations wish to contribute to the transitional issues facing the agricultural sector in the Achterhoek region by combining the forces of business, education and research.
The applied research group ‘Regional transitions towards circular agriculture’ head by Professor Rik Eweg has launched a study into the agricultural sector. How can this sector significantly reduce its environmental impact and increase biodiversity while still maintaining its earning capacity? Education has an important role to play in this, which is why it is critical that the University of Applied Sciences, together with other MBO institutions, actively participates in the applied research being done at De Marke.
The complexity of the situation in agriculture requires a multidisciplinary approach. Students from different degree programmes, at different levels and from different countries can make their own contribution’, says Ben Rankenberg, lecturer and researcher at HVHL. ‘We can incorporate this directly into the existing education project. Students should be able to learn from the latest research and contribute to its execution. But they must also be able to guide the research.’
Over the longer term, VHL will be actively engaged in social issues in the region and will strengthen practice-based research and education. De Marke’s wonderful network and facilities will play an important role in this’, says Jan van Iersel, chairman of the Executive Board of the university of applied sciences.
Jaap Gielen, director of De Marke, indicates that the diversity of the study programmes at VHL guarantees enhanced insights and a greater innovative capacity within the sector. ‘The visit demonstrated that there is interest in discovering how we can reinforce each other, together with the business community and other knowledge partners.’