Aurelia Giacometto Skipwith, former director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, visited the University of Debrecen to discuss agricultural research and training, as well as ways to increase the number of American students. He also gave a lecture to students of the Faculty of Agriculture, Food Science and Environmental Management.

The biologist, molecular geneticist and legal expert, who also served as Assistant Secretary of State for Fish, Wildlife and Parks in the US Department of Interior, was met in the Main Building by Rector Zoltán Szilvássy, Vice Rector for Sector Development for the Development of Agricultural and Food Sciences Endre Harsányi and Director of Coordination and Strategy Oksana Kiszil.

During the meeting, Rector Zoltán Szilvássy emphasised that the University of Debrecen is the only higher education institution in Central and Eastern Europe that has not only faculties aligned to disciplines, but also sectoral cabinets based on the strategic objectives set and accredited clusters in the so-called four-helix innovation structure. The university is working with actors of the industry, government officials and financial institutions on projects that are designed to harmonise research and that could prove forward-looking even on an international level.

The head of the university presented the ever-expanding network of national and international contacts of the university, highlighted the proactive flexibility of the cooperation with the agricultural sector, and described in detail the results achieved so far in the field of agricultural sciences and the development of functional and therapeutic foods.

It was mentioned at the meeting that the University of Debrecen currently has 29 students from the United States of America. Aurelia Giacometto Skipwith urged the expansion of bilateral exchanges, stressing the importance of international experience in education. As an example, she mentioned a project that hosted PhD students from developed and developing countries, who returned to their respective home countries to use the knowledge they had acquired in the United States having learnt from each other's experience.
Vice Rector Endre Harsányi thanked the expert and the accompanying diplomat from the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, Béla Kocsy, for supporting and strengthening the cooperation between the University of Debrecen and South Dakota State University.

After meeting with university leaders, Aurelia Giacometto Skipwith  met with students of the Faculty of Agriculture, Food Science and Environmental Management, including majors of Precision Agricultural Engineering, followed by a presentation on the activities of the US Fish and Wildlife Service at the Böszörményi Road campus.

Press Center - TH