Faculty of Agriculture at UD to develop a program in international cooperation

Within the framework of Erasmus+, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and Environmental Management of the University of Debrecen (MÉK - Mezőgazdaság-, Élelmiszertudományi és Környezetgazdálkodási Kar) has launched an innovative program development project related to the precision agricultural engineering program. The aim of this three-year project is to design and develop a two-semester MSc program. The results achieved so far were presented on Wednesday at the Böszörményi úti campus of UD.

As a member of an international consortium, the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and Environmental Management of the University of Debrecen (UD) is involved in the process of compiling a pilot program in close cooperation with as many as 14 partner institutions and with the participation of international students.

“Through its diverse research activities, the University of Debrecen cooperates with a number of international institutions on the possibility of awarding double degrees, among other things. The programs Erasmus+ and Horizon largely determine these collaborations as well as international research and student exchanges. The work of our consortium and the results achieved so far further strengthen the successful cooperation between universities,” said Endre Harsanyi, Vice-Rector for Sector Development responsible for the development of agricultural and food science at the opening of the professional day presenting the results of the program.

Having presented an overview of the agricultural programs offered at the University of Debrecen and the research system used at MÉK, Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and Environmental Management László Stündl underlined that about 10 percent of the students of the Faculty of Agriculture are international students, while participation in Erasmus+ significantly facilitates the internationalization of the institution and continues to improve the competitiveness of the programs available at this faculty.

“The innovative curriculum developed during the project is related both to precision agriculture and the digitalization of agriculture, while the most up-to-date knowledge has been incorporated into the body of teaching materials. Nevertheless, the training material does not only provide state-of-the-art and modern knowledge for students but it also serves the development of instructors. In the program development, seven individual subjects have been included by MÉK, such as soil science, crop production and water management, to mention a few. In addition to the precision agricultural engineer program to be launched in September, the teaching materials can also be utilized for the classical agricultural engineering major offered at the University of Debrecen,” said Tamás Rátonyi, Head of the Department of Precision Technology at MÉK.

Within the framework of the so-called masTERs course on smArt Agriculture TECHnologies (TERRATECH) program, more than 20 international students have arrived at the Faculty of Agriculture in Debrecen so far from a variety of countries such as Greece, Nigeria, Morocco, Uzbekistan and Turkey.

“Half of the group of students participating in the project will be enrolled at the International Hellenic University (IHU) in Thessaloniki, Greece, while the other half will spend the training period at the University of Debrecen. During the two semesters, students staying in one host institution will go to the other university for a so-called mobility period of two weeks to join the students there and to participate in practical training,” said the coordinator of the program, Péter István Fejér, while presenting the mobility program.

Péter István Fejér also highlighted that the students in the project would spend a month-long internship at companies cooperating with partner institutions and prepare a thesis with the help of experts working there. At the end of the training program, they would take a final exam and obtain an MSc degree, which is expected to be issued by IHU (International Hellenic University).

As part of the agenda of the professional day of masTERs course on smArt Agriculture TECHnologies (TERRATECH), consortium leaders Ruth Pereira and Susanna Carvalho from the University of Porto and Theodoros Kosmanis and Dimitrios Tziourtzioumis from International Hellenic University presented the findings of their research related to the program.

Press Center - ÉE