Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
October 23, 1998

ISU is founding member of ag education consortium

by Steve Jones

A consortium of universities in the United States and Western Europe has been created to globalize agricultural curricula.

The goal of the International Consortium for Agricultural Education is to better unify the agricultural programs at universities worldwide to facilitate student and faculty exchanges. The organizing institutions are Iowa State; the National Agricultural University of Ukraine, Kiev; and Humboldt University, Berlin.

President Martin Jischke is the president of the new organization. He said the further globalization of agricultural programs is important for training the professionals who will solve food shortage, environmental and other problems in the future.

"Agricultural universities need to increase their understanding of the curricula of similar institutions around the world," Jischke said. "It's only after we identify areas of commonality that we can effectively work to modify our curricula to make it easier for students and faculty to participate in exchanges and joint research projects."

The consortium was formed at a conference in Ukraine, Sept. 28-30, on the future of international agricultural education. Representatives from several U.S. universities and about 25 nations attended the conference. Jischke said many other universities, research institutes and international organizations will join the consortium.

Iowa State is taking a lead role in organizating the consortium, Jischke added. Provost John Kozak is the consortium vice president and Agriculture dean David Topel is serving on the group's presidium, similar to a board of directors.

"We're very pleased that UNESCO has stepped forward and given its pledge to financially support this consortium," Jischke said.

ISU and the National Agricultural University of Ukraine have collaborated since 1994 on a program to revise the Ukrainian institution's curriculum. More than 60 ISU and NAUU faculty have participated in exchanges to expand educational opportunities for Ukrainian and ISU students. The program has resulted in two memoranda of agreement between NAUU and ISU. (See related awards story.)

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