Jet-Net 10th Anniversary
Jet-Net Director, Gerard Jacobs, and TV journalist Twan Huys
Copyright: Paul Hilkens

Jet-Net (Youth and Technology Network Netherlands) is one of Europe’s best examples of a national partnership to promote science education. A joint venture launched by technology companies and secondary schools, the platform counts an amazing 80 plus companies and 170 schools, that work together on classroom projects, special lectures, coaching and facility tours to help young students experience technology as meaningful, socially relevant and exciting.

In the last four years alone, the number of students participating in Jet-Net activities has doubled to 60,000, confirming a constant growth trend since the platform’s foundation in 2002.

Yet Jet-Net is not one to rest on its laurels. To celebrate its tenth year anniversary, the platform commissioned research on its impact and value add among students, teachers and partners. Spanning a 10 year timeframe, the study offers a unique look at the evolution of school-industry collaboration and offers learnings for colleagues all over Europe.

Key findings from the study are summarized below:

  • The relationship between education and business is no longer a taboo but, on the contrary, a popular request.

  • "Without Jet-Net, students would still be learning exclusively from textbooks,” teachers admit, while they now can get a more realistic idea of technology applications and careers. For companies, Jet-Net placed the imminent lack of technically trained graduates high on the policy agenda.

  • Jet-Net is not limited those teaching or studying science as industry partners involved in language, economy, and design are increasingly making professionals available for exchanges.

Challenges ahead:

  • Schools and companies are still two worlds apart, and a certain amount of trial and error is generally required before the ideal way of working is found. Integrating activities into the curriculum and the appointment of a Jet-Net coordinator in each company are measures found to help achieve continuity and reciprocal commitment.

  • Jet-Net companies make 6 million Euros worth of funds and time available yearly for Jet-Net schools, but the financial crisis risks badly impacting their capacity to find time and money. This is especially true for small companies.

Key success factors for school-industry collaboration:

  • Regions and regional coordinators facilitate collaboration on the ground by helping the parties get to know each other better and promoting clusters of small companies to help overcome difficulties

  • A "buddy system" among companies, with more experienced ones training new members

  • The "teacher work experience": not only professionals go back to school. Teachers are called to immerse in a practical experience and to see for themselves what kind of curriculum related activities companies could offer.

What do the next ten years hold for Jet-Net? International expansion? Stay tuned as in 2013, Jet-Net will arrive in Denmark. Keep following us for updated news.

More information

Donwload: Ten years of Jet-Net: What are the results and where do we go from here? 

For more information on this report and Jet Net please contact Sebastiaan Smit,

     Copyright: Paul Hilkens