Agriculture: UniSey and University of Bologna sign agreement for teaching and research
The ceremony of signing the memorandum of understanding at the University of Seychelles (Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Geared towards having students graduate with higher educational degrees in the field of agriculture to build more knowledge-based capacity in the sector, the University of Seychelles (UniSey) signed an agreement with the University of Bologna, Italy, on Friday.
The signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two universities will promote cooperation in the field of teaching and research, and encourage scientific and cultural projects of mutual interest.
Present at the ceremony, Seychelles’ agriculture minister, Flavien Joubert, outlined that the MoU “provides an opening for collaboration in research as well as for scholarships so that our students can attend training in a subject that deals with agriculture and food science at the university in Italy."
"If there are A-Level students who want to develop themselves in either agriculture or food science, they will have the chance to do so," said Joubert.
|Staff of the University of Seychelles and University of Bologna after the signing of the agreement (Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment) Photo License: CC-BY|
During the same event, another MoU was signed between the UniSey and the Seychelles Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture (SIAH).
This agreement reflects the interest of both institutions in developing links, which will widen and create opportunities and access for students and staff of both institutions.
"Today's agreements show the drive and desire to access higher education in the agricultural sector not only for SIAH students, but other interested candidates at the national level, including the staff of the agriculture department," said Joubert.
He outlined that his ministry is promoting an essential and secure agricultural system that meets the food requirements of Seychelles, reduces its vulnerability to external shocks, and adapts to the current status of climate.
"Our ministry has initiated discussions with a higher regional institution on similar objectives. This comes at an opportune time, to further improve and develop the capacity of our local individuals working in the field of agriculture," said Joubert.
Joubert added that the ministry, in collaboration with KEDAR Group Agriculture Projects in Israel, is organising an agriculture educational tour in Israel for a group of local farmers and staff from the agriculture department in April this year. The group is a leading provider of sustainable food security projects, especially in underdeveloped areas and emerging markets.
"The tour will provide farmers with the opportunity to learn new methods and technologies, especially in regard to green and climate-smart agriculture and techniques they may adapt locally," said Joubert.
This includes local agricultural production and export sales in eastern African countries through the management of farms with open-field irrigated crops in greenhouses with high-quality vegetables as well as efficient packing houses, and cooling system in post-harvest facilities.
Joubert also announced the SIAH will be introducing a foundation programme for students enrolled in certificate-level courses and offer an International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) in general agriculture to those following the advanced certificate programme at the Institute for the 2023 intake.
"The foundation programme aims to bridge the academic gap of the learners in order to better prepare them to follow the course of study in the IGCSE is to ensure that SIAH graduates are better equipped to access the diploma in sustainable agriculture and further studies if they choose to," he explained.