Project meeting Nuffic project NICHE/KENYA/126 Nairobi Horticulture

During 22 to 24 January constructive talks were held on the BSc and MSc Horticulture curricuclum of the NUFFIC project  NICHE/KENYA/126 and the PhD project herein, with the acting vice chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology replacing Prof Mabel Imbuga, the Dean of the faculty of Agriculture Prof Losenge Turoop, the Department Head Dr Elijah Miinda Ateka, the Chair of the Curriculum Committee Prof Mwangi Githiri, the Nuffic project manager at JKUAT from the Department who is also working at the Directorate of Performance Contracting and Appraisal (DIPCA) of JKUAT Prof John Wesonga, the Attachment Coordinator Prof Alex, Frances Ombwana, Adimo, the general project manager of DCI of Wageningen UR Dr Irene Koomen, the PhD student in the project Rukia Atikiya, and the supervisor of her dissertation in JKUAT Prof Elegwa Mukulu from the Institue of Human Resource Development  of JKUAT. Much has been done already, but there is also still a lot to be done. The purpose of my visit was to review progress and make agreements for follow-up, which look good. Continue reading Project meeting Nuffic project NICHE/KENYA/126 Nairobi Horticulture

Intercultural understanding between students needed

The recent international intercultural tensions call for intercultural understanding between students in education. Vitaliy Popov was publishing about his in the International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 36, 3012-317. ‘This paper aims to examine challenges that are inherent in multicultural student group work (MCSG) in higher education and the differences between students from different cultural backgrounds in how they perceive the importance of challenges in MCSG. For this purpose as 19-item suvey was completed by studients (N=141) of the 9-EC (European Credits) Academic Consultancy Training (ACT) course of Wageningen University, a university in the Netherlands in the domain of life sciences with a student population consisting of over 30% foreign students from over 100 different countries. Students were required to rate on a Likert scale (from 1 to 5) the importance of a certain challenge in MCSG. Challenges for students in MCSG were analyzed using scales that centered on cross-cutting challenges and culture-related challenges in multicultural group work identified in exploratory factor  analysis. To examine the extent to which culturally diverse students differed with respect to their perceptions of the importance of the challenges, a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted based on Hofstede’s individualist–collectivist cultural dimension. Free-riding, insufficient English language skills and students not communicating properly were perceived by all participants of this explorative case study to be the most important challenges in MCSG. The results suggest that students’ cultural background (the individualist–collectivist dimension) affects their perceptions of the importance of challenges in MCSG. Explanations for these results and recommendations for future research are provided.’ (source: Popov, V., D. Brinkman, H.J.A. Biemans, M. Mulder, A. Kuznetsov, O. Noroozi (2012). Multicultural student group work in higher education. An explorative case study on challenges as perceived by students. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 36(2), pp. 302– 317).


‘Constructively aligned teaching and learning in higher education in engineering: what do students perceive as contributing to the learning of interdisciplinary thinking?’, by Elsbeth Spelt et al, published online.

E.J.H. Spelt, P.A. Luning, M.A.J.S. van Boekel & M. Mulder (2014). Constructively aligned teaching and learning in higher education in engineering: what do students perceive as contributing to the learning of interdisciplinary thinking?, European Journal of Engineering Education, DOI: 10.1080/03043797.2014.987647


‘Increased attention to the need for constructively aligned teaching and learning in interdisciplinary higher education in engineering is observed. By contrast, little research has been conducted on the implementation of the outcome-based pedagogical approach to interdisciplinary higher education in engineering. Therefore, the present design-based research was undertaken to develop, implement, and evaluate a constructively aligned learning environment in the interdisciplinary field of food quality management. The practical aims were to reduce the perception held by the students of choppiness and to prevent them floundering in the disciplines; the theoretical aim was to accumulate theory on learning environment aspects that would help students to learn interdisciplinary thinking. The design-focused evaluation among 26 students showed that the practical aims were met, and concerning the theoretical aim, eight learning environment aspects were identified such as learning within an interdisciplinary framework. Further research should validate these aspects to continue with tackling teacher challenges on teaching interdisciplinary thinking.’ (Spelt et al, op cit).


Happy and Healthy 2015

Dear website visitor,

I wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year!!!

As I mentioned earlier, I am maintaining this website for your convenience. It started when I began doing projects in East-Africa. I learned then that many colleagues and students did not have access to current publications, thus I started uploading my papers and presentations on an earlier version of this website. I had never thought that it would get used so much. In 2014 the website again got hundreds of thousands of hits and tens of thousands unique visitors.

Last year I introduced a system by which persons who would want to download papers had to register their email address. That was because I was eager to learn who was downloading papers to see whether the users still match the original purpose of the website. Indeed, that is the case, although the visitors profile is quite broad. All of you who left your email address, rest assured that I will keep your address for personal use, and that I will not use them for commercial reasons.

One of my good intentions for 2015 is to complement the list of downloadable publications, to increase the usefulness of the site.

To all visitors: I hope you found this website interesting and useful.

Thanks a lot for visiting. Come again!