ST43 – A multi-stakeholders’ approach to the transition from secondary to higher education: the case of teacher educations in Antwerp

Room C – MONDAY 16:45-17:45

Boris Mets

Jo van den Hauwe

Expertise Network for Teacher Educations Antwerp (ELAnt)

University of Antwerp
Middelheimlaan 1
2020 Antwerp – Belgium

Boris Mets is coordinator of ELAnt, the Expertise Network for Teacher Educations Antwerp. He worked as a teacher in higher education and as a researcher in the discipline of educational linguistics. In 2002-2009 he was responsible for the educational policy of the City of Antwerp. One of the topics in his current job is the transition from secondary to higher education, especially to teacher educations in adult education, university colleges and universities.

Jo van den Hauwe is project officer of ELAnt. He worked as a researcher in educational linguistics and second language learning and as a teacher educator.


In Antwerp, schools will face a shortage of teachers the next decade. Therefore, the municipality brings together a broad range of stakeholders in order to find solutions, especially ways to attract more students to the first year of teacher education and to involve these stakeholders in the organization of the first year. What can be learned from this multi-stakeholders approach?


Antwerp is a city with 500.000  inhabitants in the north of Belgium. The primary and secondary schools in Antwerp (Belgium) face a huge challenge: there is a spectacular increase in the number of pupils, while a lot of teachers drop out, looking for jobs in other economic fields or leaving Antwerp schools for schools in the suburban areas surrounding Antwerp. Schools that have the reputation to be “easier” to work in. The result is a shortage of teachers in primary education and certain fields of study in secondary education. The Antwerp municipality took the initiative to bring together a broad range of stakeholders to face the challenge. Members of school boards, officials in the field of employment counseling, researchers, HR professionals and representatives of teacher education institutions. Starting from a labour market analysis a number of actions were taken, meant for different target audiences: teacher educators, starting teachers, school board members, young people in the transition from secondary to higher education and students in teacher education. The initiatives proposed are mainly in the field of communication, but another main topic is the question: “How do we motivate students from their first year on to work in schools in urban environments?”

The session will address following questions as starting points for discussion:

1. What actions were taken and what are the results so far?

2. What can we learn from this example about involving stakeholders from other fields than higher education in the transition from secondary to higher education.

3. What in this example is typical for the context of teacher education? What general lessons can be learned?

4. What could we learn from initiatives which are not specifically meant for students in teacher education?

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