AOC Terra is an Agricultural Education Centre (AOC) of almost 6000 students and offers land based (agricultural/ green) education. Land based education is divided into prevocational (vmbo), senior secondary vocational (mbo) and higher vocational studies (hbo). AOC Terra offers vmbo and mbo. The vmbo course provides general training, primarily using plants and animals to provide students with a fertile, motivational learning environment. The mbo course includes areas of study such as food technology, landscape management, horse management, flowers and design, (paraveterinary) animal care, sport and recreation, care and the environment and (agricultural) technology. AOC Terra is situated in the north of the Netherlands and consists of twelve schools: seven schools for prevocational education, four schools for senior secondary vocational education (16 years and up) and one school for senior secondary vocational education (18 years and up) and part-time courses. The (senior) secondary vocational education prepares fulltime students and apprentices for four levels of achievement, corresponding to the EU-level 1, 2, 3 and 4, based on the length of the course: 1, 2, 3 or 4 years of study. The broad range of studies are divided into several worlds, related to green, food, animal and environment .
They include:

  • Animal Friends
  • Big Business
  • Dynamic Design
  • Good Food
  • Mighty Machines
  • Natural Health
  • Surprising Nature

Senior secondary vocational education knows two routes, BOL (beroepsopleidende leerweg, day-release route) and BBL (beroepsbegeleidende leerweg, on the job route).
BOL: learning and practical training. The maximum time spend at school is 80%, 20% is practical training.
BBL: working and learning. One or two days are spent at school. Next to that, you have a job for 960 hours per year in your future working area.

AOC Terra is member of the EUROPEA INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION, an international network for agricultural schools ( and member of the national EUROPEA ( Next to that, students and staff of the eleven locations participate in several international projects and exchanges.

Click on the button ‘Good Practices’ to read about some of the international experiences of AOC Terra.

International activities of AOC Terra


 MBO Groningen joins the network FLORCERT since 2012. This is an international network of florist schools with a partnership project titled: learning outcomes in upper secondary florist education  by using FLORCERT as a quality insurance tool. They hope to improve the skills and enlarge the value of the diploma of the students by a special and extra international exam.

Carrefour Europeèn

This is an annual meeting of students from Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Poland and the Netherlands. The programme focuses on green themes. The event is organised by a different country every year and the average number of students participating is 150. In the spring of 2012, AOC Terra organised the Carrefour around the theme ‘Water and Wind’.

EUROPEA International and COPCHAVET

AOC Terra is member of EUROPEA International. This is an organization for the development of vocational education and training (VET) in the green sector of Europe. The green sector covers a wide field of professions within agriculture, horticulture and forestry.

At present, EUROPEA-International is organized as an association of 25 country members, that is 25 national EUROPEA organizations. The members represent more than 1.000 vocational schools and institutions all over Europe. On behalf of its member organizations EUROPEA-International does advocacy vis-à-vis the EU institutions. In benefit of the members the association implements the following activities on a regular basis.

  • EUROPEA-International organizes 2 bi-annual meetings for its members, one in the spring and one in the autumn. The programme may include conferences on vital developments within the green VET sector, or seminars and workshops on didactical and pedagogical issues. Also, interesting and challenging excursions may be found in the programme.
  • Further, EUROPEA-International organizes a number of professional competitions for green VET students. In recent years competitions has been held in disciplines such as Agriculture, Landscaping, Agro-Mechanics, Floristry, Wine growing and tasting, Fishery and Forestry.
  • Finally, EUROPEA-International set up an effective framework for international projects funded by EU, e.g. Life-long Learning Programmes such as Leonardo da Vinci, Commenius, Grundtvig etc.

In 2011 the project COPCHAVET (COPing with CHAllenges in Vocational Education and Training) started. The mail goal is To help European agricultural (green) VET schools to adapt to the future, facing challenges related to environment/climate change, changes in farms/firms and  ECVET implementation in agricultural sector.Specific Objectives:

1- To enhance knowledge / awareness among the European agricultural (green) VET schools about the new challenges related to:

  a) environmental issues and climate change that affect farming

  b) changes in farms/firms and the relationship school-enterprise

  c)  ECVET and the application in agricultural (green) sector

 and about the innovative projects and initiatives that could permit them to face these challenges trying that 5% of the schools (50) implement some of these projects and initiatives

2- To improve knowledge, skills and competences of teachers and managers of agricultural (green) VET schools as well as other stakeholders (farmers/entrepreneurs, students) about the subjects indicated above:

  a) environmental issues and climate change that affect farming

  b) changes in farms/firms and the relationship school-enterprise

  c)  ECVET and the application in agricultural (green) sector

  d) innovative projects and  initiatives (tools) and how to implement  them

3- To encourage innovative thinking and entrepreneurial behaviour of students

4- To strengthen the cooperation among the partners (Europea associations) 

Teachers, as well as students and entrepreneurs participate in this project in seminars, student meetings and open schools.

TerraNext in Sweden

In 2011 a group of nine forestry teachers went to Sweden to visit the Husqvarna factory, to practice and thus improve their sawing skills, to strengthen their team as colleagues and to do cultural visits.

Öknaskolan - Meppel

Öknaskolan Sörmlands Naturbruk, school in TYSTBERGA, Sweden, has been a partner of AOC Terra MBO Meppel since 2010. A solid relation has to start slowly so we have begun with work placements and exchanges for a few students. For each student, no matter which his choice of study is, there are many possibilities to enjoy and learn from work experience in Sweden and vice versa.
In June 2010, two teachers went to Sweden to get to know the school in Sweden. The theme of the visit was ‘the circle of life’, with the subtitle ‘how to become the greenest school’. Education in Sweden is strongly related to nature and our school can learn a lot about the ways how to relate it. They learned how to integrate nature into daily school life. For example how to deal with rubbish and ways to incorporate nature into the school itself. The Dutch teachers offered something very different; working with ITC applications and good practises in creating exams. 

International Work Experience

More and more students from AOC Terra want to experience an international work placement. This experience needs to be prepared well. Students get, before they leave, assignments about the culture, the political system, the geography and the economy of the country they are going to visit. The students present this information, in another language than their mother tongue, to their classmates before they leave. This preparation and, of course, the work experience itself, are really valuable for the mental developments of the students.

How to Promote International Work Experiences

Students from MBO Emmen, Groningen and Meppel, present their international work experiences  to all students who are also interested in such an adventure. This way, AOC Terra hopes that even more students choose for an international work experience in the future.  

Ovinpiade Paris

Students from MBO Meppel participated in the Ovinpiade in 2010. The Ovinpiade is an international competition in judging sheep. They had to show their ability to recognise different varieties of sheep, classify lambs and show their driving skills on a quad.

Worldly wise, World wide

A group of students and teachers from VMBO-Groen Wolvega visited Uganda in 2009. This visit was done in order to build awareness in terms of discovering the world, experiencing that going to school is not as common as one might think and getting a greater sense of cultural diversity.


In the year 2009, a group of students from AOC Terra MBO Groningen, went to Transvaal, South Africa, for work experience. Their field of interest was cattle breeding. The theme of the traineeship was called ‘Development of Sustainable Agricultural Education in Transvaal’. It was the first activity of the partnership between Potchefstroom College of Agricultural Education in Transvaal and AOC Terra and AOC Oost in the Netherlands. As this was an exchange programme, students from Transvaal visited the Netherlands. During their visit in 2010, a ‘Memorandum of Agreement’ was signed to encourage future collaboration. The partnership is named ‘Experimental Learning Exchange Programme’. 


Binnen AOC Terra maken we gebruik van verschillende regelingen, onder meer de klachtenregeling, het vakantieoverzicht en het leerlingenstatuut.