European Master in Floral Design

During the last days of June, the decisions as to the grants given by the European Leonardo da Vinci fund with respect to the ‘call 2011’ were made public. The request for a partnership grant regarding the development of a new European Master in Floral Design was accepted!

FLORNET and FLORINT together initiated this partnership, which aims for a rebirth of the European Master in Floral Design, a top-level and so far unique European diploma in the flower retail branch. This EMFD has been developed in the years 1999 till 2001 with the aid of Leonardo da Vinci and was finally piloted with a group of students from 3 countries. After the pilot in 2002, the EMFD was evaluated by the students as well as external observers as being very positive. Nevertheless, a follow up couldn’t take place as the costs appeared to be too high and the time required to complete the course apparently couldn’t be afforded easily. A new perspective opened up, however, once FLORINT came into contact with FLORNET. The FLORNET Transnational network of floristry schools successfully created 9 different cursory modules in 9 different competence centres, also with the aid of Leonardo da Vinci. The 9 FLORNET modules were observed by 4 different parties, representing the industry in floristry or representing the prefer. In the period 2005 – 2007 the modules (preparatory phase – practical phase – evaluating phase) were tested out by 125 different florists coming from all over Europe.

The competence profile of the EMFD has meanwhile been redefined with the aid of the University of Twente. The next step will be to match the competences described in the profile of the EMFD with the competences developed in the FLORNET modules in order to generate clear and cohesive descriptions of the competences, students acquire by completing the various FLORNET modules. This is not an easy task, in light of the fact that competence oriented learning (COL) is not yet widely accepted in Europe and as far as it is, opinions on it diverge. The partnership will therefore first develop a common view on COL, and will then convey the necessary knowledge and know-how to the schools involved as well as support them during the process of defining the competence descriptions. This process will be supported by the Chair Group of Education and Competence Studies of Wageningen University. The partnership, moreover, will also work on strengthening cooperation and establishing a permanent dialogue / consultation structure between the industry organisations (via FLORINT) and the educational institutes (via FLORNET).

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