Nurturing Agricultural Education to Sustain Cambodia’s Economic Prospects
Agriculture is the backbone industry of Cambodia’s economy, so it is critical for universities to train a fleet of competent and innovative graduates to drive agricultural activities to the next level. Because of shifting climates, developing challenges and technical innovations, Cambodia’s future fleet of agricultural specialists need to adapt and sustain environments and crops for the future. Svay Rieng University has elevating its agricultural curriculum via the Erasmus+ programme known as UNICAM, or “Implementing quality of education & training of the Young Universities in rural area of Cambodia.”
UNICAM serves to link rural Cambodian universities that offer a competitive advantage to universities that already serve an important role in developing the agricultural sector’s human resources, involving University of Battambang, Mean Chey University Chea Sim University of Kamchaymear in addition to SRU. The program also provides an opportunity to collaborate with four EU universities: University of Girona in Spain; Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse III. In France; Ghent University in Belgium; and Università degli Studi dell’Aquila in Italy. Running from 2015 to 2018, UNICAM assisted Svay Rieng University in its creation of the Master of Sustainable Agriculture (MSA) degree programme. This project additionally built a national network of knowledge-sharing across Cambodia’s agricultural zones and allow researchers to collaborate on research.
SRU participated in this programme because the university already plays a critical role in educating Cambodia’s incoming generation of agricultural specialists and its location is conducive to extensive research opportunities and quick graduate placement in operating companies and initiatives. However, the university could use assistance in advancing its curriculum to match global standards and adapt with innovations in sustainable agriculture. The partnership with European and Southeast Asian universities offered students the chance to form cross-border networks of research and information, with top-performing students accessing opportunities for grant funding and experiences abroad.
Graduates of the MSA programme progress into skilled agricultural technologists, with experience and comprehension in innovating solutions to Cambodia’s complex and evolving agricultural challenges. Graduates are prepared to develop their own agricultural businesses, serve as knowledgeable contractors, or hold positions in agricultural government offices or NGOs.