The EBRD and the UCAB are beginning cooperation on improving educational programme for agricultural development in Ukraine.
On 28 April 2020, an agreement between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the EBRD) and the Ukrainian Agribusiness Club was signed for implementation of the project ‘Improvement of the Master Programme in Agronomy in the South of Ukraine’.
The project foresees elaboration of new modern curricula to train ‘field commanders’ for agrarian business of Ukraine with deep professional skills in agronomy and agrotechnology sectors amid irrigated farming and developed soft skills required for present-day production.
The project will be implemented at the Kherson State Agrarian and Economic University starting next academic year. The programme will be based on the principles and methodological approaches of the modern master programme with components of dual education taking into consideration characteristics of the southern region. In addition to educational component, an emphasis will also be placed on improving qualifications of the university teaching staff in the region.
The EBRD Project Manager of Technical Cooperation in Agribusiness Alina Bilan stated ‘We are continuing the programme of financial support for educational reforms in the agro industrial sector of Ukraine. This project is an important step towards qualitative changes in the state of agricultural education system and qualified personnel training. Our cooperation will give a boost to the future expansion of UCAB's programme ‘Agrokebety’ in the south of Ukraine’.
According to the UCAB President Alex Lissitsa, this project and its support by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is an essential investment of time and money into development of the agrarian education in Ukraine as a whole.
‘Agrokebety project is a long-anticipated response to the needs of highly-qualified personnel for the country's agribusiness and economy. I am glad that there are like-minded people willing to support us and pool efforts in order to achieve the common goal as well as carry out educational reforms at the domestic level, - said Alex Lissitsa, the President of UCAB. - I believe that this cooperation will usher in a new era of agricultural education in the southern Ukraine’.
The project is anticipated to be implemented on the basis of two departments of KSAU: agronomic and economic.
According to the Rector of KSAU Yurii Kyrylov, implementation of the project will facilitate development of the university: ‘Our university has always strived to keep up with the time. With every passing year, the world is constantly changing, education and science are no exception. Technologies and algorithms for teaching and learning materials, methods of research and scientific findings are changing as well. Improvement of agronomy education programme with application of Agrokebety programme approaches is an example of introducing changes in pursuing higher education and training not ‘theoretical’ but ‘practical’ workers.
The initiative to improve master programmes in agronomy came not only from the university, but also from the leading agricultural producers in the southern region of Ukraine, in particular, Agrofusion company, which will partially finance and participate in the student education programme. It indicates a great interest of business in obtaining highly qualified personnel.
‘The expectations from the project are multifaceted: from satisfaction of demand of leading agricultural enterprises of the southern Ukraine for highly qualified experts in agronomy and agrarian management to fulfilment of the dreams of students and their parents regarding highly-paid prestigious jobs after completing their education at the Kherson State Agrarian University’, summed up Yurii Kyrylov’.
UCAB hopes that owing to the joint efforts of agrarian universities and businesses under the financial support of the EBRD, we will be able to demonstrate the best examples of educational programmes where the extensive theoretical knowledge is enhanced by actual practice and communication with the real sector, thus boosting ‘reformatting’ of the Ukrainian tertiary education.
Agrokebety is an advanced master programme created in cooperation between business and educational institutions in January 2019 by the Association ‘Ukrainian Agribusiness Club’ (UCAB) on the basis of the Faculty of Agricultural Management of NULES of Ukraine.
The main objective of the programme is to provide top Ukrainian agricultural companies with highly skilled personnel. And graduates – with a highly-paid job immediately upon graduation.
The peculiarity of the programme envisages support for each student by a mentor-representative of the companies involved in the project. An additional competitive advantage of the curriculum consisted in foreign lectures from successful agribusiness managers from all around the world.
The idea of programme establishment was supported by the following leading agricultural companies of Ukraine:
Corteva Agriscience™, MHP, New Holland Agriculture, IMMER Group, Agroprosperis, IMC, Bayer, Cygnet, Gals Agro, Kernel, LNZ Group, Agrein, Limagrain Ukraine, HORSCH, AgroHub, SmartFarming. Legal support for the project is provided by Arzinger. Educational partners of the project are Scientific and Methodological Centre of Higher and Incomplete Higher Vocational Education, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and Apple Consulting.