Climate change forms one of the greatest threats for the future of our planet. The effects are increasingly evident in different sectors and regions worldwide, but particularly for food systems in Africa the impact of climate change is already significant. To be able to adequately respond to climate change, it is essential to equip future leaders with the necessary knowledge, tools, and skills through (higher) education. At VU Amsterdam, there are numerous approaches and initiatives to facilitate the learning and development of students to become capable future leaders. Through the INSSPIRE project, the Centre for International Cooperation (CIS-VU), together with experts from VU faculties, aims at applying this knowledge and experience in a global context, and contribute to enhancing higher education capacity in Africa to preparing future leaders that will stimulate more resilient and climate-responsive food systems in Africa.
The objective of the INSSPIRE project is to facilitate evidence-based inclusive education by:
- (co-)developing evidence-based course modules on food systems and climate change;
- enhancing staff capacity to deliver the modules in an effective manner using innovative teaching skills;
- engaging stakeholders in education and research and co-create (in the so called real-life learning labs) responses and solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change on food systems;
- using video games to increase students’ soft skills; and
- setting up collaborative online international learning to facilitate peer learning and knowledge exchange of good practices.
The INSSPIRE project, funded under the Erasmus+ Capacity building in Higher Education program, involves partner universities from Kenya (Maseno University and South Eastern Kenya University), Uganda (Mbarara University of Science and Technology and Makerere University), Slovenia (Innovation and Development Institute of the University in Ljubljana), Spain (Universitat Rovira I Virgilii), and the Netherlands (VU Amsterdam). The project kicked off in February 2023 in Kisumu (in Kenya) and will run for a period of three years. Prior to the kickoff, a student competition for the project logo was launched; during the kickoff, the partner universities voted and the INSSPIRE project logo was selected.