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Working Visit to the UK: Exchanging Best Practices in Science and Education | News Articles

News | Oct 11, 2022 | 11:37

From 1 to 3 November 2022, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Robert Dyckgrafvisited London for a two-day working visit.

Minister Dyckgraf spent two days visiting South Bank College, Queen Mary University and UCL. He, NCCPE and other UK stakeholders. He also had the opportunity to exchange views on the latest developments and policy best practices with policy chiefs and George Freeman, Minister for UK Education and UK Departments for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

educational science attache laura van voest vader He tells us more about the purpose and results of this visit.

Image: Dutch Embassy UK

Minister Robert Dyckgraf visits South Bank University in Clapham

Why did Minister Dyckgraf visit Britain?

Just as scientists and researchers collaborate with colleagues around the world to address the latest developments in physics, mathematics and psychology, Minister Dijkgraf is committed to addressing common challenges in education and science policy. believes in the importance of exchanging best practices across borders.

The Netherlands and the UK have world-class education and science systems. But to make sure our education, science and research systems are strong, support students within our education system and are relevant to the changing labor market, we must continue to learn and develop new ideas. is important.

Minister OCW Robert Dyckgraf

image: ©Dutch Embassy UK / Dutch Embassy UK

Minister Robert Dyckgraf visited London to serve as Minister of Education, Culture and Science (OCW).

Neighbors on the North Sea, Great Britain and the Netherlands share centuries of trade and investment, the exchange of ideas in academia, art and design, and close alliances to defend freedom.

As a result, both countries today face similar challenges in developing educational, scientific and research systems and policies. The UK is the perfect partner for learning and exchanging ideas.

The scope of the visit focused on continuing education, student welfare, recognition of academic talent, and science communication. These are Dutch priorities and guarantee constructive and timely visits.

The Netherlands is one of the leading countries in vocational education. What is your special reason for visiting Lambeth College?

The Dutch labor market is getting tighter. In the second quarter of 2022, there were 143 vacancies per 100 job applicants (CBS): Professionals are in very high demand. We face some major climate change, energy, healthcare and housing challenges that require a skilled workforce to solve. Vocational education is an integral part of the Dutch plan to tackle these challenges.

That’s why the Minister spoke with Lambeth College students, teachers and administrators during his visit to the new South Bank College campus in Clapham.

South Bank Colleges is one of the first in the UK to offer a new T-level course inspired by the Dutch model of continuing education (“MBO” in Dutch). Ministers were eager to hear how this new educational pathway could strengthen the link between vocational education and the labor market. Another interesting point for him was the close cooperation Southbank fostered between education and (regional) business. The Netherlands sees this kind of cooperation as important to keep vocational education innovative and challenging, and it was great to share best practices.

Smallest OCW at South Bank College Lambeth College Campus

image: ©Dutch Embassy UK / Dutch Embassy UK

Through my visits to the college, it was clear that there was a shared passion for developing technical training and further educational opportunities for young people in areas such as software development, engineering and nursing. , the Netherlands wants to promote retraining and further training to create a labor market focused on sustainable employability and skills.

However, discussions at Lambeth and tours of the campus revealed some common challenges, such as the lack of value in vocational and technical training. According to Minister Dijkgraaf, the social recognition of vocational education should be higher. Together with his colleague Wiersma, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, he plans to develop a program for the re-evaluation and repositioning of vocational education.

Such as South Bank College opening a high-profile new campus for technical students and working closely with South Bank School and London South Bank University to provide a smoother educational pathway. Inspired by some best practices.

In the Netherlands and the UK, an increasing number of students are working with (mental) health issues. What can the UK and the Netherlands learn from each other about how best to help students?

The mental health of young adults (especially students) is a serious concern in the Netherlands, and the Covid-19 pandemic will only exacerbate the situation.

The Netherlands specifically looks to the UK (along with Australia and Canada) as one of the leading countries to support student well-being. The Minister hoped to learn from the UK’s ‘whole school’ approach and other experiences and policies in the UK.

Robert Dyckgraf visits QMUL

image: ©Dutch Embassy UK / Dutch Embassy UK

Min Robbert Dijkgraaf visited QMUL to hear about student-led initiatives to support student (mental) health.

Queen Mary University LondonA Russell Group university, ranks top in the UK for student mobility and is home to a very diverse student population. At our East London campus, we heard from staff and students about our approach to student well-being, from holistic well-being guidelines and professional hubs to support student-led initiatives.

The Queen Mary University’s focus on prevention and support has inspired the policies the Netherlands is implementing. For these policies, the minister has allocated an investment of £13m (€15m) for the next two years. Results are then evaluated to see if the structural investment is justified.

At the intergovernmental level, it was valuable to exchange experiences for successfully implementing a positive welfare approach. Going forward, we would like to consider several aspects of how the UK and the Netherlands can cooperate on this topic.


image: ©Dutch Embassy UK / Dutch Embassy UK

Another focus area of ​​the minister’s visit was public engagement and science communication. Why is this topic a Minister’s priority?

The Covid-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on a global debate about public (distrust) trust in science. As part of growing interest in ways to bring science and society closer together, Minister Dyckgraf plans to set up a new center for science communication in the Netherlands next year.

Robert Dijkgraf on a panel at the Royal Institution

image: ©Embassy of the Netherlands in the UK / Embassy of the Netherlands in the UK

During his stay in London, Minister Dyckgraf spoke with the directors of the National Coordinating Center for Public Participation (NCCPE) in Bristol. NCCPE’s successes and lessons learned over the past 14 years provide Ministers with valuable information. Additionally, NCCPE directors Sophie Duncan and Paul Manners have expertise in the field of public engagement, making them valuable sparring partners.

They then continued a lively discussion on the benefits, challenges and role of public engagement during a panel discussion held at the Royal Institution.

Is science communication the responsibility of established scientists only?

Should public engagement be limited to what we know to be true facts?

These and other questions were discussed by a panel of Ministers Sophie Duncan and Paul Manners, led by Catherine Matheson ( royal institution) and a young Dutch researcher, Milou van Poppel. Panel members did not always agree with some of the statements presented, or with each other, but public engagement and scientific communication have helped to ensure that the education and science systems are in the right place. It was clear that it was an essential element to function.

The UK and the Netherlands have a long history of scientific cooperation. How can we work together to modernize the recognition and reward system in academia to continue to attract world-class academic talent and research?

The success of Dutch recognition and reward policies depends to some extent on similar cultural shifts in international academia. This demonstrates the global and collaborative nature of academia and science. The Netherlands and the UK share a broader ambition to improve the essential prerequisites for ensuring a healthy culture of scientists.

Dutch universities, university medical centers, research institutes and research funders have worked together to create a system that allows for career path diversification. Recognize individual and team performance. We value quality of work over quantitative results. We encourage open science and encourage high-quality academic leadership.

min OCw bezoek aan UCL

image: ©Dutch Embassy UK / Dutch Embassy UK


A final meeting was held before returning to Holland by train. UCLThe ministers were there to exchange best practices in recognizing and rewarding all types of academic talent and diversifying career paths.

Early-career academics face several challenges in the Netherlands due to uncertain career paths and high work pressure. Part of the Dutch approach to recognition and reward includes creating space for alternative career paths. The minister wanted to know more about the Professional Teaching Fellowship, a program UCL developed in response to this career path uncertainty. The adoption of a broader definition of excellence in a highly regarded academic environment like UCL, which focuses not only on research and teaching, but also on the role of citizens, public engagement and economic impact, is also discussed. I was.

Minister Robert Dijkgraf and Dutch students at UCL

image: ©Dutch Embassy UK / Das Embassy UK

Minister Robert Dijkgraf Meets with Dutch Students at UCL

To cap off this visit to UCL, the minister met with the Dutch student to learn more about his experience studying in the UK.

This final discussion with young and ambitious students emphasized the value of exchanging ideas, listening and learning. The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science Minister Dijkgraf and my colleagues who participated in the working visit will bring all the lessons and inspirations back to Holland.

what next?

The collaboration doesn’t end here. Bilateral talks are just beginning on most, if not all, of the topics touched upon during our visit. There are many opportunities to continue learning from each other.As Education Science OfficerI will continue to act as an intermediary to encourage and facilitate this kind of exchange between our two countries.

For more information on the minister’s visit and UK-Dutch collaboration on science and education, please contact Laura van Voorst Vader, Science and Education Officer, Dutch Embassy in the UK. laura-van.voorstvader@minbuza.nl

https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/latest-news/news/2022/11/10/visit-of-education-and-science-minister-robbert-dijkgraaf-to-the-uk Working Visit to the UK: Exchanging Best Practices in Science and Education | News Articles

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