Project Description

Objectives

BACKGROUND

Participants

SUMMARY

 

Objectives

The Project aims at introducing environmental studies curricula at Agricultural Higher Education Institutions in the South Caucasus Region. Along with the establishment of new subjects and the development of teaching materials, the project will build human capacity for carrying out the whole scope of challenging responsibilities. Young teachers will get exposed to the newest stand of teaching and pedagogic knowledge at the partner universities of Western Europe, thus contributing to the process of adjustment of the curricula at their home universities to conform the international standards.

Furthermore, the project will establish a University Network, initially in the South Caucasus Region, for facilitating the dissemination of the accumulated knowledge and information on environmental problems of mutual concern. Such a network of higher educational institutions will provide advanced means to support high quality education in the field of environmental issues as a base for a co-ordinated environmental policy in South Caucasus.

The following results will be pursued:

  • Creating a well functioning structure that enables teaching staff mobility within a established network of
    Agricultural Universities;

  • Promoting teachers mobility within the South Caucasus Region;

  • Increasing efficiency and quality of educational process at Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijani Universities;

  • Enabling teachers to take part in academic education transition according to EU educational standards.

 

BACKGROUND OF THE PROJECT

Partner countries problems and needs analysis

Until 10-15 years ago the countries in South Caucasus Region (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) were in very close contacts with each other as well as with other NIS countries in socio-economic and political point of view. There was bilateral exchange both of teaching staff and students among them.
In the late 80ies these contacts were disrupted, and stopped at all after the collapse of the former Soviet Union. But in the recent few years the situation seems to be changing. South Caucasian countries are trying to restore former contacts and establish new ones with the support of several Western European and other countries. One of the fields of future co-operation is Environmental Policies and Environmental Economics.

South Caucasus Region is rich in natural resources, which determines the development of several fields of economy, such as Industry, Agriculture, Forestry, etc. They, in their turn, have a great impact on environment. This is of particular relevance for Agriculture. This field of economy is the most related form of human activity to environment. One of the biggest problems in the world and in South Caucasus region is protection of nature, natural resources and their rational exploitation. For this purposes Governments of South Caucasian countries have elaborated certain Environmental Policies directed towards increasing of ecological awareness of the public, perfection of ecological education of young generation, propaganda of innovations and ongoing research and public environmental arrangements.

To address contemporary needs and requirements several projects have been initiated in the frame of the EU Tempus programme.

Georgian State Agrarian University (GSAU) has successfully implemented the TEMPUS-Tacis project CD_JEP 21237-2000 entitled "Reorientation of Academic Education in Environmental Economics in Georgia" aiming toward the reorientation of study plans in the area of Environmental Economics at the Georgian State Agrarian University. The activities foreseen by the project have been implemented. The key success of the project can be considered as follows:

  • EU educational standards have been introduced in the field of Environmental Economics at GSAU;

  • International Office at GSAU has been equipped with modern computer technique and Internet connection facilities;

  • GSAU's teaching staff has been trained at EU universities;

  • Intensive courses have been conducted by professors from EU universities;

  • GSAU library has been developed in accordance with EU standards;

  • New teaching methodology guidelines and text books have been published.

The main purpose of the current project ("Introduction of Environmental Studies in South Caucasus Region") is to further develop the notion of environmental impacts, and respective environmental prevention and environmental valuation. Thereby the results achieved by CD_JEP-21237-2000 will be multiplied and disseminated  to the Agricultural Academies in Armenia and Azerbaijan in order to facilitate the adjustment of higher education standards in the field of Environmental Studies in South Caucasus Region.

 

Participants

 

The current members of the Consortium have already gathered successful experience through previous projects. As mentioned above, in the frames of CD_JEP 21237-2000, some of the consortium members, namely the Georgian State Agrarian University, the University of Agricultural Sciences Vienna (Austria), the University of Hohenheim (Germany), and the National Agronomics Institute Paris-Grignon (France), have established a durable co-operation.
Armenian Agricultural Academy, along with Wageningen University (
The Netherlands) and Hohenheim University, were involved in another EU Tempus project (CD_JEP 21203-2000) which contributed greatly in the reform and major restructuring of the curricula of agricultural economics disciplines in Armenia.
Azerbaijan Agricultural Academy, Ganja, on the contrary, is new to EU educational programmes, and therefore, more in need to be exposed to the modern teaching and presentation methodologies. In Armenia and in Azerbaijan certain measures have been taken to address deep-seated environmental concerns, and new academic chairs were established to educate and prepare specialists. Adequately trained teaching staff, modern teaching materials, textbooks and equipment are still missing. The current project will fill this gap.

 

The project consortium is represented by the following institutions:
 

1. University of Hohenheim, Germany

The project contractor, Prof. Dr. Juergen Zeddies, has broad experience in international university co-operation and management of objective oriented projects. By order of the German Society for Technical Assistance (GTZ) he was for many years responsible for the evaluation of TA-projects in developing countries. As Dean of the Agricultural Faculty (1977-1981), Vice President of the University of Hohenheim (1982-1985) and Head of two interdisciplinary research programmes he has long term administrative experience. Since 1993 he is responsible for the co-operation between the University of Hohenheim and Eastern European Universities. Prof. Zeddies was contractor of TEMPUS (Tacis)-Pre-JEP 01311-94, TEMPUS-JEPs 10014-95, 12316-97, 14051-99, 20501-99, 10738-99, 21203-2000 and 21231-2000.

At the University of Hohenheim an MSc-programme in 'Environmental Protection and Agricultural Food Production' was newly introduced in 2002. The emphasis in the collaboration with the University of Hohenheim is in the fields of Resource Economics, Environmental Management, Agricultural Markets, Extension and Information Management.

2. Georgian State Agrarian University

The Georgian State Agrarian University is represented by Prof. Eldar Gugava, who is the co-ordinator of the project. During last years GSAU participated in several National and International projects (as partner and co-ordinator) related to environmental issues. One of the last co-operations was the TEMPUS-Tacis project CD_JEP-21237-2000 "Reorientation of Academic Education in Environmental Economics in Georgia" with Austrian, German and French Agricultural Institutions.

3. University of Agricultural Sciences (BOKU) Vienna, Austria

The University of Agricultural Sciences Vienna is represented by Prof. Dr. Johann Vollmann as contact person. The University of Agricultural Sciences Vienna was leading several international projects in the field of curriculum development (Kyrgyzstan P_JEP 3177-96, CP_20545-1999, Bosnia and Herzegovina JEP 13104-98 and 16104-2001, Georgia 21237-2000). The University of Agricultural Sciences Vienna offers several study programmes in a wide range of subjects. One of them is Environmental Protection and Economics.

4. Institute National Agronomique Paris-Grignon, France

The Institute National Agronomique Paris-Grignon is represented by Prof. Dr. Joel Priolon as contact person. Institute National Agronomique was involved in several international projects, e.g. in following Tempus projects: Bosnia JEP 13104-98 and 16104-2001, Georgia 21237-2000. Institute National Agronomique offers specialisation in environmental economics, which will be the main contribution to that project (providing with curricula, lectures, teaching materials).

5. Azerbaijan Agricultural Academy Ganja, Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan Agricultural Academy in Ganja was founded on the basis of Azerbaijan Polytechnic Institute's Department of Agriculture, which was established in 1920. Today the Agricultural Academy is the only state educational institution in Azerbaijan, which trains and prepares high-qualified specialists for agricultural sector. Presently, in eight available faculties of the Academy, 3830 undergraduate and graduate students receive education in 35 fields of specialization.
In addition, there is a teaching site in Gazakh and also nearly 500 correspondent students. There are 560 persons in teaching staff, including 1 member of National Academy of Science and 1 correspondent member of NAS, 30 doctors
of science, 230 candidates of science, docents, 300 head teachers, teachers, and teaching assistants. There are 123 graduate students in 30 fields of specialization. The Academy has educational and scientific relations with agricultural universities and agriculture-oriented educational institutions of the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Israel, Netherlands, Albania, Spain, Czech Republic and CIS countries.

6. Armenian Agricultural Academy Yerevan, Armenia

The Armenian Agricultural Academy was established as a result of integrating the Agricultural Institute with the Institute of Livestock and Veterinarian Studies. Concurrent to the integration, starting from January, 1995, the Academy initiated a completely new model of training for agriculture which implied a triple-degree system of education, which enables the Academy to develop a system conforming to the International educational standards. During the consequent years, the Academy has established regional agricultural colleges and high schools. Curricula for new programs were developed and incorporated into the educational system starting from 1995-1996 academic year.

The Armenian Agricultural Academy provides training in 25 disciplines. The Academy consists of four faculties (Agrarian, Economics, Veterinarian, Engineering Faculty) and two departments (Department of Correspondent Studies, Department of Pre-educational Studies). 4337 students currently study in the Academy, of which 1693 are in regular programs, 2207 in the Correspondent Studies Department, 268 - in the college, 169 - in High School. The Academy has a powerful workforce of faculty and researchers: 430 faculty members, 110 Doctors of Sciences, 239 Candidates of Sciences. Five Professional Boards issuing a Doctor of Sciences Degree, function in the Academy.

 

SUMMARY OF THE PROJECT

Project title:
Introduction of Environmental Studies in South Caucasus Region

Specific Project Objective/s:
Introduction of environmental studies in Agricultural
Curricula in South Caucasus region, establishment of Universities network for dissemination of knowledge and concern about environmental problems.

Participating EU Universities:

  • University of Hohenheim, Germany
  • University of Agricultural Sciences Vienna (BOKU), Austria
  • National Agronomics Institute Paris-Grignon, France

 Partner Country Universities involved:

  • Georgian State Agrarian University, Tbilisi (GEO)
  • Azerbaijan Agricultural Academy, Ganja (AZB)
  • Armenian Agricultural Academy, Yerevan (ARM)

Expected Outcomes:

  • Improvement and dissemination of existing curricula and teaching material in environmental economics
  • Establishment of South Caucasus countries university network
  • Updating and implementation of curricula in the area of environmental studies based on the standards of
    EU universities
  • Continuous training of teaching staff from partner countries, preparation of new teaching materials
  • Improvement of the technical equipment of the partner country universities (teaching and study materials,
    laboratory equipment
    etc.)
  • Dissemination of new knowledge gained from the project to ministries, extension services, co-operatives in
    GEO,
    AZB and ARM

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Environmental Studies in South Caucasus Region - JEP 23193-2002

 
   
 
 

 

03.04.2004