European Landscape Education Exchange (ELEE)
ELEE is established in 1986 and is defined as the European network of schools and departments of Landscape Architecture. It was founded by several European schools with the support of a European Community commission within the frame of the ERASMUS programme. It was constituated by a Memorandum of Agreement between the Rectors and Directors of the participating universities and colleges and approved by and in conjunction with professional bodies including the European Foundation for Landscape Architecture (EFLA).
The practice of ELEE is to exchange student groups and educators from one school to another in order to work together for some weeks or even for a whole semester. The common work with people from other cultures and educational emphasises is a great experiance and opens new horizons.
The ELEE network contains:
- intensive programmes
- student mobility programmes
- teaching staff mobility programmes
- exhibitions, forums and publications
- joint curriculum development
- information gathering and distribution
There are four main areas of activity:
- Intensive programmes:
There are three-week project-based programmes involving multinational groups of between 30 and 120 students and teachers at one time. The projects have focused on problems and issues relevant to the host country or region and offer an insight into the contemporary situation of the landscape and the practice of landscape architecture in that country.Students and teachers work together to develop consepts, strategies and designs.
- Student mobility programmes:
Those consists of longer periods of study undertaken by students placed in schools abroad – ranging from three months to a full academic year. The students receive grants from the ERASMUS Bureau to subsidise travel and living costs. The host schools offer a combination of modules within the regular teaching programme and often special courses and projects intended for visiting students. Language preparation is additionally funded and many schools are developing preparatory training. Credits gained and work undertaken abroad are fully recognised by the home institutions.
- Teaching staff mobility programmes:
In this programme teachers travel abroad to undertake varying periods of teaching in member institutions – ranging from a few days of intensive teaching, to more extensive periods of weeks or even months. Usually teachers with particular specialisms are invited in order to offer courses which will introduce new ideas, subjects and methods which would otherwise be inaccessible to local students.
- Exhibitions, forums and publications:
The network has been represented in various forums and conferences all over Europe and held an exhibition itself on the Floriade site in Hague in 1992. Masterclasses, meetings of instituional directors, and student and teaching staff forums and meetings have taken place regularly over the years. The work of the intensive programmes is published annually in the final reports of the students. ELEE is represented ‘ex office’ on EFLA’s education committee.
The primary aim of ELEE is to promote exchanges and joint working between students and teachers of the member schools, and facilitate free movement within the European Community. The network is founded by the schools themselves and through the ERASMUS programme of the Commission for the European Communities. Since 1986 the network has steadily expanded and now includes the following institutions:
Hoger Ecologisch Instituut “Horteco”, Vilvoorde
Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, København
Ecole Nationale Superieure du Paysage, Versailles
Technische Universitat Berlin, Berlin
University College Dublin, Dublin
Universita degli studi di Genova, Genova
Internationale Agrarische Hogeschool Larenstein, Velp
Universidade de Evora, Evora
Instituto Superior de Agronomia, TU Lisboa, Lisboa
Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona
Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds
The University of Greenwich, London
The director of ELEE, Roger Seijo, was present at the first two ELASA meetings. The ELASA Information Centre keeps in contact with him, but is not directly working together with ELEE.