About the European Food Systems Education and Training (EFSET) Programme

The EFSET programme delivers an innovative pan-European programme designed to equip postgraduate students with the skills and confidence needed to become lifelong learners and change agents in the food sector. The programme partners with workplace organisations to ensure responsiveness to sector demands and to maximise student learning opportunities. The long-term vision is a network of fully integrated, multiple educational hubs across Europe.


  • An educational programme that provides food systems thinking training through an online learning environment and face-to-face workshops
  • An opportunity for students to deepen their understanding of interdisciplinarity, enhance novel skills and professional development beyond what their degrees offer
  • An opportunity for students to engage directly with the workplace on real-life problems through food system challenges activities

EFSET builds upon the approach of the Interdisciplinary Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL) programme, an extensively tested food systems training programme in the United Kingdom with four years of experience and over 1,500 participants. We are now expanding this approach to food systems training to European universities as part of the EIT food network.

Students can engage as much as you want with the programme. It’s completely free, flexible and voluntary, but the more they put in, the more they get out.


  1. To support the innovative capacity of students by providing them with the skills to engage directly with the workplace on real-life problems through a variety of activities.

  2. To create a community of lifelong learners and change agents able to apply appropriate problem structuring methods to analyse and create intervention strategies for food system challenges.

  3. To provide workplace partners with benefits from the innovative work that students will carry out researching their food system challenge projects.


Portal. The EFSET programme has a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), where students can carry out self-directed learning, gain access to teaching materials, and interact with other students through forums and blogs. Over the course of the year new information will be made available on programme events.

Workshops. The programme is designed so that student learning is supported by a number of skills-based workshops where students can ask questions about the learning material and learn practical skills for systems analysis and developing interventions. Each workshop is based on a separate unit from the online course.  In light of COVID-19 we have adapted the workshops so they can be effectively run online and in face-to-face environments.

Food System Challenges and International Workshop. After Easter, students will have the opportunity to apply the skills they've learned earlier in the year to work on real-world food system challenges co-created with our industry partners.  Students will work viertually across the universities in international and interdisciplinary teams and compete for a cash prize.  Towards the end of the period students have the opportunity to attend an extened workshop at the University of Reading to present their work to our industry partners and benefit from attending expert-led skills training workshops.


The programme received funding from the EIT Food. Project number: 19126.

EIT Food is Europe’s leading food innovation initiative that works to make more sustainable, heathier and trusted by consumers food systems. The main mission is to build an innovative community where the consumer is actively involved in the system.


Last modified: Tuesday, 22 September 2020, 10:47 AM