Enhancement of postgraduate studies on sustainable agriculture and future farming systems

The project addresses the demand of educating doctoral students on high quality and international standards to increase knowledge based solutions for sustainable agriculture and future farming systems – a topic of national, crossregional and international relevance.

Large agricultural areas characterize the landscapes and economies of Russia and Kazakhstan and both countries see the innovative development of this sector as a priority. Compared to this, skilled labour and innovation potential is lacking. As a reaction, a number of initiatives target to build up human resources on all levels (farm workers, specialists, managers) and as well to improve higher education institutions (HEIs). Despite the progress in joining and pursuing the Bologna process, brain drain of young talents and deficient and outdated educational offers for PhD studies impede the goals of HEIs to become international competitive. Overall the institutional capacity increases to tackle education and research demand in the area of sustainable agriculture and future farming systems.

The consortium of 5 EU partners and 4 Russian and 4 Kazakh agricultural universities together with consultative and expert partners from accreditation, research and private business in Russia and Kazakhstan therefore specified the following objectives:

1. develop and establish four post-graduate modules at 8 HEIs in different regions to qualify doctoral students on inter- and transdisciplinary contents and approaches relevant for agricultural research and innovation;
2. increase the human capacity, literature base and equipment of partner institutions to provide doctoral education according to international standards and best-practices;
3. strengthen international and interregional academic exchange and research cooperation among project partners;
4. establish a network on doctoral research and education in the agricultural field targeted on the exchange of best practices with a wider audience.