"The I-CNN consortium – running since early 2006 – is based on cooperation between Alfa College (Groningen en Drenthe), the Regional Education Centre Friese Poort (Friesland) and Landstede (Overijssel and Gelderland).
The main reason for forming the consortium was that all 3 colleges were receiving too little funding for vocational education and training exchanges. So, in January 2006 we wrote a joint application which was approved and we received a total of €372,000.
In 2006, the consortium created a set of common procedures for staff and teachers. The 3 colleges now use the same handbooks and approaches. Another advantage is that we've created a database of European partners, which benefits all staff and students.
Now and then staff from the consortium members visit a partner country. For example, teachers from all 3 colleges go together to Malta for an English language course or visit a partner in Finland to discuss teaching methods.
We have also jointly participated in other projects, such as Leonardo da Vinci partnerships.
In 2009, the consortium received a Leonardo da Vinci 'mobility certificate', which made our work easier and helped us focus our international strategies.
Every year the consortium organizes a network day for its staff, to keep them abreast of new developments or possibilities for international internships.
In the 2012 call for proposals, the consortium received increased funding, worth €625,050. So you can see we've been doing something right!
Working together brings lots of benefits: an opportunity to share knowledge and experience, a lighter workload, and stronger connections between people, both nationally and internationally."