This meeting was attended by more than 30 institutions, including foundations and world-renowned universities. The Zamorano president, Dr. Jeffrey Lansdale, reported on the project to to improve the quality of agriculture at the secondary education level that is being promoted in the region by Zamorano and EARTH University.
As part of its global commitment to agricultural education, Zamorano participated in the conclave “Higher Education Transformation Project: Experiences and Advances in University Transformation”, conducted by the World Confederation of Higher Education Associations for Agriculture and Life Sciences (GCHERA) at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.
The meeting, held on September 6-7, focused on the commitment and progress by the partners toward changes in higher education to strengthen and broaden the transformation of higher education worldwide in response to the challenges of the 21st century.
The authorities of the participating universities had the opportunity to review and report on why there is a need to modify education systems. They shared their commitment to change and expounded on the progress of their respective institutions in the processes of transformation, among other experiences in response to global challenges. The meeting presented an opportunity to strengthen and expand networks and partnerships among institutions embarking on change processes.
Dr. Lansdale participated in the panel; “GCHERA Institutions’ Commitment to Change: Visions, Experiences, and Lessons Learned,” moderated by GCHERA President John Kennelly with the participation of Iowa State University Dean Dr. David Acker, Dean of EARTH University, Yanine Chan, Dean of Purdue University, Marcos Fernandez, Dr. Egeru Anthony of Uganda’s Ruforum organization and representative of the Asian Association of Agricultural Colleges and Universities (AAACU), Filma Calalo.
In the conclave, Dr. Lansdale discussed the impetus that Zamorano and EARTH University are giving to improve the quality of agricultural education at the secondary level in Latin America and the Caribbean, within the strengths and sustainable improvements that both universities are promoting, prior to the upcoming signing of a joint agreement.
Dr. Lansdale indicated that the project is intended to improve the secondary education knowledge base of future applicants to undergraduate agricultural studies and increase both the interest and the number of young people in agricultural education.
From the regional perspective the project seeks to improve agricultural entrepreneurship and business productivity, reduce rural to urban migration, increase national competitiveness, and above all increase employment and income generation among youth to enhance leadership and self-esteem in young people to counter the “NiNi” (“neither studying nor working”) phenomenon. Also, the project will contribute to a better standard of living and bolster family values and community cohesion.
The joint project between Zamorano and EARTH contributes to strengthened alliances, greater interaction, better learning-by-doing methodologies, and shared research and innovation. The project has significant impact for evaluations and improvements of regional policies, increased demand for technical assistance by academia, as well as experiences and technology shared through online learning, the development of inter-institutional collaborations, faculty enrichment through exchanges and collaboration, and international recognition, Dr. Lansdale added.
The event closed with a conversation about the global commitment to higher education transformation and the future of university transformation, led by La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation, José Zaglul, founder and president emeritus of EARTH University, and John Kennelly, President of GCHERA.