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Aqua-tnet
Collated articles relevant to Aqua-tnet, the EU Erasmus Lifelong Learning Thematic Network for Aquaculture, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management (www.aquatnet.com)
Curated by John Bostock
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Investing in the human capital of the aquatic food sector: AQUA-TNET and the road ahead - Online First - Springer

Investing in the human capital of the aquatic food sector: AQUA-TNET and the road ahead - Online First - Springer | Aqua-tnet | Scoop.it

By John Bostock & Sónia Seixas.

Global aquaculture production now provides around 50 % of human seafood consumption and with expected population growth and increased per capita seafood consumption, production is expected to rise from the current 63 million tonnes to almost 100 million tonnes by 2030. In contrast, aquaculture production in the European Union is relatively low, having more or less stagnated since 2000, despite the EU being the largest global importer of seafood. However, a new strategy for aquaculture development is in place with every EU Member State committed to preparing a national plan. This will involve greater focus on current constraints and issues that need to be overcome through innovation and engagement with a wide range of stakeholders. This will require the input of research, knowledge exchange and human capacity building. The AQUA-TNET thematic network for lifelong learning in aquaculture, fisheries and aquatic resource management has brought together European organisations engaged in these activities since it first started in 1996. This paper aims to present some of the analyses and thinking of that network in relation to the role of education and training in strengthening the human capital of the European aquaculture sector as a contribution to overall sector development. The approach is therefore that of a review article, drawing on a diverse range of previous work to identify themes and trends to help inform future research and activities. Further and higher education institutions play a partial but nonetheless significant role in aquaculture sector development. When considering future contributions to the sector, account needs to be taken of the changes taking place within the tertiary education sector as new technologies, global competition and government policies challenge the status quo of current organisation and practice. Though these present risks, they also offer considerable opportunities to build new collaborations, adopt new patterns of teaching and learning and perhaps apply new frameworks for accrediting learning and skills that could benefit the aquaculture sector. With funding from the European Commission Lifelong Learning Programme for AQUA-TNET having come to an end in 2014, future work of the network in promoting and enabling innovation will need to be reconfigured around other types of sector organisations. It may also be the right time to look towards a more global platform for aquaculture education and knowledge exchange.

John Bostock's insight:

The final article in the Aquaculture International AQUA-TNET special edition is now available from Springer - looking more to the future of both education and aqua-tnet.

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Generic skills needs for graduate employment in the aquaculture, fisheries and related sectors in Europe - Online First - Springer

Generic skills needs for graduate employment in the aquaculture, fisheries and related sectors in Europe - Online First - Springer | Aqua-tnet | Scoop.it

There is an increasing demand for highly skilled workers in all advanced industrialised economies. Although most jobs require occupation-specific skills to carry them out, it is widely recognised that generic skills are ever more needed by job seekers, to increase job opportunities and maintain employability; this applies to all sectors of the economy, from selling cars to undertaking marine research. Several recent European Union strategy documents emphasise the importance of generic skills. However, the apparent mismatch between the skills sets that employers seek and that job seekers offer remains a major challenge. This paper focuses on perceptions of and attitudes to generic skills training for university graduates intending to gain employment in aquaculture, fisheries or other marine sectors and presents the results of a survey administered to academics, industry representatives, students (at different stages of their academic career) and graduates. The various respondents regarded most of the 39 generic skills under investigation as important, with none classified as unimportant. However, students undertaking different types of degree (i.e. B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D.) prioritized different generic skills and the level of importance ascribed to generic skills training increased as students progressed in their university careers. On the other hand, university staff and other employers were fairly consistent in their choice of the most important generic skills. We argue that there remains a need to place generic skills and employability attributes and attitudes at the centre of the higher education curriculum.

John Bostock's insight:

Another great and timely output from the AQUA-TNET project (sorry I'm biased...!)

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Cultivating a voice outside academia has tangible benefits

Cultivating a voice outside academia has tangible benefits | Aqua-tnet | Scoop.it
Evidence of impact for SciDev.Net’s opinion articles shows what researchers stand to gain from improving communication skills.
John Bostock's insight:

Further evidence of ther need to cultivate "generic skills" (Ref: Aqua-tnet Workpackage 4).

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Rethink higher education to exploit digital platforms

Rethink higher education to exploit digital platforms | Aqua-tnet | Scoop.it
David Roberts and Blaine Greteman’s guide to a more universal university
John Bostock's insight:

Momentum builds for more flexible lifelong learning provision

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The Pedagogy of MOOCs

The Pedagogy of MOOCs | Aqua-tnet | Scoop.it
There is a great deal of energy, enthusiasm, and change happening in today's education sector. Existing and new education providers are leveraging the Internet, ICT infrastructure, digital content,...

Via Martin Weller
John Bostock's insight:

A very informative and insightful overview of the development of MOOCs with respect to pedagogy.

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AQUA-TNET thematic network: an 18-year chronicle of development and achievement in European aquaculture education - Online First - Springer

AQUA-TNET thematic network: an 18-year chronicle of development and achievement in European aquaculture education - Online First - Springer | Aqua-tnet | Scoop.it

By Margaret Eleftheriou, Marieke Reuver, John Bostock, Patrick Sorgeloos & Jean Dhont

 

The long-running higher education network AQUA-TNET, a tightly-knit collaboration of university departments, research institutes and other stakeholders from the aquaculture industry, was established in 1996 by AQUATT, a coordinating partner in the SOCRATES-ERASMUS Thematic Network DEMETER led by ICA (Association for European Life Sciences Universities). Later, AQUA-TNET activities continued under an umbrella organisation, the AFANET Thematic Network. Previous work on accreditation in European aquaculture courses carried out by AQUA-TNET’s first coordinator, the UETP (University Enterprise Training Partnership) AQUATT enabled the fledging network of 15 partners to publish details of aquaculture courses in all its 15 member countries and to focus on issues soon to be raised as part of the emergent Bologna Process (1999). AQUA-TNET’s ground-breaking work in educational reforms led to its steady expansion, with the result that in 2005 it was established as a stand-alone ERASMUS Thematic Network. Its achievements from 2005 to 2011 under the coordination of Gent University (Belgium) and from 2011 to 2014 of the University of Stirling (UK), demonstrate the incremental impact of AQUA-TNET’s long-term activities. AQUA-TNET played a leading co-operative role between higher education institutions, further education providers, research institutions and industry, defining and developing a high-quality European dimension within its academic disciplines. Activities included contributions to Bologna priorities such as student and staff mobility (M.Sc. and Ph.D. online portals detailing all members’ courses); development of innovative M.Sc., Ph.D., HE/VET and Lifelong Learning (LLL) programmes; organisation of hands-on workshops on new technologies (e-learning, ICT); identification of flexible pathways for lifelong learners (EQF and ECVET); developing diversified language learning for HE; excellent online forum (www.aquatnet.com) disseminating comprehensive information to all stakeholders, including industry.

 

John Bostock's insight:

Here it is... the concise but definitive history of Aqua-tnet ! 

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Evaluation on the use of e-learning tools to support teaching and learning in aquaculture and aquatic sciences education - Online First - Springer

Evaluation on the use of e-learning tools to support teaching and learning in aquaculture and aquatic sciences education - Online First - Springer | Aqua-tnet | Scoop.it

The study aimed to capture a snapshot of the status of educational means used in teaching and learning in the area of aquaculture, fisheries and aquatic resources management at European level, with specific consideration on the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and e-learning tools. To achieve this goal, an online survey was compiled and made available to teachers and students across Europe. In total, teachers from 31 institutions and students from 40 institutions participated in this survey. This paper presents the findings, considers trends and poses further questions for sector stakeholders to help in the development of future programmes and support. In summary, it can be concluded that few teachers have a comprehensive knowledge of the wide range of ICT tools available and can make use of e-learning tools with complete confidence. There is therefore a real and urgent need to “train the trainers” to use ICT in their teaching environments. From the students’ end, there is a strong desire to learn more about the application of e-learning tools and to use them in their learning process.

John Bostock's insight:

A third article from the AQUA-TNET project examining the use of information and communication technologies and digital media in aquaculture education across Europe.

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Rene Mejia's curator insight, September 30, 2014 10:23 AM

Herramientas de e-learning Aplicadas a Nuestra Vida #eduvm

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UK enters online university race

UK enters online university race | Aqua-tnet | Scoop.it
The UK's biggest online university project is being launched, with a partnership of more than 20 universities offering free courses.
John Bostock's insight:

Whatever you think of MOOCs, momentum is growing and every institution and provider of higher education courses will need to factor them into their strategy.

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Seth's Blog: An end of books

Seth's Blog: An end of books | Aqua-tnet | Scoop.it
Books, those bound paper documents, are part of an ecosystem, one that was perfect, and one that is dying, quickly. Ideas aren’t going away soon, and neither are words. But, as the ecosystem dies, not only will the prevailing corporate...

Via Nik Peachey
John Bostock's insight:

I think this is especially true for text books!

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adorwelding's comment, August 17, 2013 2:59 AM
Nice............
aisha ertugrul's comment, August 17, 2013 8:11 AM
As well as completely and utterly disregarding the fact that essential reading skills are very well learned through reading for pleasure and extensively reading for pleasure!
OneSpring's curator insight, August 19, 2013 9:56 AM

A very interesting thought from a very interesting man...