HAS University of Applied Sciences has developed six new English-taught minors for higher professional education (HBO)students. The minors respond to current social issues requiring an integrated approach in the agri, food and living environment sector. Future-proofing the agri-food sector is a central theme in various minors, each emphasising a different aspect.
The minor Innovating Agri-food Production Systems, for example, looks at the transition of the agri-food sector to a circular and sustainable model, while allowing all those involved to make a fair living. Partnerships have been entered into with companies such as Farm Frites, Heijhoef and HAK in the minor. HAK has even linked a competition to the minor, which gives students the chance to earn €2,000 and media exposure. The minor started in September with 20 students from five study programmes, including one international student.
In balance with nature
Another example is the minor Farming with/in Nature, which starts in February. In this minor, students are challenged to strengthen agriculture in balance with nature and make it more sustainable in the Netherlands, Germany and Poland. This requires a multidisciplinary approach from different study programmes, with insights into agroecology food systems, market forces, and dealing with different interests in a limited area.
Healthy food choices
The minor Creating a Healthy Food Environment focuses on making it easier for consumers to choose healthy food. Lots of people in the Netherlands are overweight, which leads to chronic diseases such as diabetes and a higher risk of developing severe symptoms if they become infected with COVID19 . There are also large health differences across different groups, depending on their educational level and socio-economic status. To stop this trend, we need to create healthier food environments for consumers. The minor gives our students better insight in the role of our food environment in the context of current health problems, and the roles of the various stakeholders such as the food sector, social organisations, government authorities, and consumers.
High-quality, practice-oriented assignments
HAS University of Applied Sciences has been working closely with the professional field for decades, and has managed to attract many innovative companies to participate with the minors. The University’s research groups are also intensively involved in the minors. Thanks to this combination, students can carry out high-quality, practice-oriented projects. It’s a great way for them to get acquainted with the dynamic world of agri, food and the living environment, and the opportunities this sector has to offer. The minor Data Science in Agrifood is offered in partnership with Avans University of Applied Sciences.
The 6 new minors:
- Farming with/in Nature
- Creating a Healthy Food Environment
- Expedition Entrepreneurship in Food, Agri & Environment
- Data Science in Agrifood
- Innovating Agri-food Production Systems
- Sustainable Plant-based Protein Transition
What does a minor look like in concrete terms?
During a minor, students in a group from different study programmes carry out a project in which a company or organisation acts as the client. It means they work on solving a real issue that the client can then take further. In addition, they learn to work together in a multidisciplinary environment where they’re given the opportunity to act as experts in their own professional field. This helps their personal development. Universities of applied sciences support the project by providing the necessary knowledge and skills, for example through lectures, practicals, workshops, and study trips. HAS University of Applied Sciences consciously decided to teach the new minors in English, so that they are widely accessible to both students of HAS University of Applied Sciences and other institutions.