Enhancement of postgraduate studies on sustainable agriculture and future farming systems

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

Large agricultural areas characterise the landscapes and economies of Russia and Kazakhstan and both countries see the innovative development of this sector as a priority. However, skilled labour and innovation potential is lacking. In response, a number of initiatives aim to grow human resources across all levels (farm workers, specialists, managers) and as well as delivering improvements to higher education institutions (HEIs). Despite the progress in joining and pursuing the Bologna process, the brain drain of young talents and deficient and outdated educational programmes for PhD studies impede the goals of HEIs in becoming internationally competitive.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 at the exchange of best practices with a wider audience.