According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED), the agricultural ecosystem is to create and maintain a sustainable relationship between agriculture and the environment in order to ensure safe food sources that are beneficial to health and keep the environment clean (Crop Life Vietnam, 2018). Educating human resources with professional knowledge in Agroecology development and skills of Entrepreneurship, ICT, management, critical thinking and problem solving is essential for all countries especially Vietnam, an agriculture based country.
In response to the urgent need of training human resources in this field, the International Cooperation Office in collaboration with the Faculty of Environment working with a consortium led by Hue University successfully applied the project “Curriculum Development in Agroecology” (CDEA) under the support of Eramus+ Programs. The consortium includes Hue University (HUE), Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA) from Vietnam, Benguet State University (BSU) and Central Luzon State University (CLSU) from the Phillipines, Universitates Rajarata (UR) and University of Peradeniya (UOP) from Sri Lanka, Mendelova Univerzita V Brno (MENDELU) and Instituto Politecnico De Coimbra (IPC) from Czech, and Novel Group Sarl (Novel) from Luxembourg. The project with cycle life of 2019-2022 aims to promoting sustainable agricultural and food systems, as it designs, develops, and promotes the transition towards biodiversity and low external input-based, socially sound farming and food systems. It also seeks to optimize the interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment while taking into consideration the social aspects that need to be addressed for a sustainable and fair food system.
The specific objectives of the project include:
• To educate professionals (farmers, agricultural specialists) with essential knowledge, transferable skills and experience via the developed master program and increase their employability skills through the acquisition of specialized knowledge and the participation in internship program;
• To increase the capacity of the academic staff of Partner HEIS, improve the level of competences and skills through the development of a VET Program customized to their needs and needs of the 21st century and through the organization of a replication training for the conceptualization of agroecology;
• To develop the professional capacity of the administrative staff of Partner HEIS through the provision of vocational training;
• To promote cooperation, exchange of expertise and good practices in the subject area between EU, PC HEIs, farmers, agricultural professionals, relevant policy makers and agricultural industries.
Under the framework of the project, the Kick-off Meeting (KOM) was organized from 04-08/2/2020 in Hue with the attendance of all partner representatives. Two staff from VNUA attended the meeting. All partners actively discussed detailed working plan, tasks and roles of each partner for each work package of the project.
KOM participants receive gifts from Hue University
It is noted that up to now, VNUA has been participating in 7 projects under Erasmus + program. These projects have contributed remarkably to improving the capacity of VNUA’s staff, lecturers and students through the development of undergraduate and postgraduate training programs; short-term training courses, exchanging officials, lecturers and students with project partners, provisions of some necessary equipment for training.