PLACING AGRICULTURALTERTIARY EDUCATION IN THE     POLICY AGENDA                                   By                   Qan...
BACKGROUND• In Africa, over 70% of the people live in the rural  areas and most of these derive livelihoods from  agricult...
Economic Significance of the         Agricultural SectorAgriculture represents 50-60% of the total economy insome countrie...
WHY AFRICAN FARMERS FAILHeated debate on the web, triggered by an article in theSouthern Times and of the same title as ab...
PLACING AGRICULTURAL     TERTIARY EDUCATION• Tertiary education provides high level knowledge  workers and research based ...
CONSIDERATIONS FOR PLACING      AGRICULTURAL TERTIARY            EDUCATION•   The Curriculum Review Process•   Integration...
1. THE CURRICULUM REVIEW         PROCESSCurriculum design and developmentneeds to respond to the needs ofagriculture clien...
2. ENTREPRENEURIAL               TRAINING• Agriculture is a business; hence, university training  needs to expose graduate...
3. ICT IN AGRICULTURE              TRAININGInformation and Communication Technology appliedfor processing, exchanging and ...
4. MONITORING AND          EVALUATIONNecessary to ensure and insure qualitycontrol (quality assurance)Must consider curric...
5. STAFF RECRUITMENT                                 Objectives                                 • obtaining the number and...
6. EXPLOITATION OF UNIVERSITY      HUMAN RESOURCESUniversities have a pool or reservoir ofexperts in diverse fields, with ...
7. FUNDING OF AGRICULTURAL    TERTIARY INSTITUTIONSThe per capita cost of tertiary education isgenerally high.Investment i...
Can we bridge the          technological divide?      Global expenditure on R&D, 2000 (UNESCO)350300250                   ...
Science within societies       Researchers per million people45004000350030002500200015001000500  0       USA   Belgium   ...
Economic development:             Knowledge transformed into goods &                          servicesEurope: Strong busin...
8. THE ROLE OFAGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITIESUniversities perform threeessential functions;         Opinion basedteaching, resea...
9. THE EMERGENCE OF     PRIVATE UNIVERSITIESHave an agenda that is at variance with andtherefore not the same or similar t...
10. STRATEGIC PLAN FOR    STAFF DEVELOPMENTGuided by student and job market needs,and based on results of aresearch/teachi...
CONCLUSIONSProgress depends on much more than enablingfarmers to increase output and establishing astable economy.The role...
RECOMMENDATIONS                   Technology robust evidenceThe paper          for effective policy makingcalls for policy...
Overcoming the innovation barriers – why     isn’t science of greater value in               development?• Because we over...
How can we bridge the              innovation domains?• Community-centred, not  technology-centred thinking• Innovative kn...
Placing agricultural tertiary education in the policy agenda
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Placing agricultural tertiary education in the policy agenda

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The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of agricultural tertiary education institutions in view of the increasing demand for quality tertiary education, escalated numbers of applicants, dwindling resources, and escalating cost of educational materials. This paper is theoretical based and draws lessons from a four-sector of the provision of education at secondary/high school, teacher training education, technical and vocational training (TVET), and tertiary education in Swaziland. Desk research and interviews of selected university administrators in Swaziland were employed to gather more data. Ten aspects were identified and formed the basis for discussions. Findings from the desk research along with the interviews of selected administrators, revealed that universities as centres of higher learning should be given highest support by placing them on the policy agenda, given enough resources to engage in full operation, conduct outreach programmes, constantly review their curricula in order to be more responsive to national needs, and prepare strategic plans to guide the operation of the University. It is recommended that all universities as centres of higher learning should conduct the three traditional functions: teaching, research and outreach and work closely with private sector/industry in order to nurture a healthy relationship.

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Placing agricultural tertiary education in the policy agenda

  1. 1. PLACING AGRICULTURALTERTIARY EDUCATION IN THE POLICY AGENDA By Qand’elihle G. S. N. Simelane, PhD Musa M. A. Dube, PhD Senior Lecturer DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION & EXTENSION UNIVERSITY OF SWAZILAND FACULTY OF AGRICULTUREA paper presented at the Ministerial Conference on Agriculture in Africa held from 13-19 November 2010 in Kampala, Uganda
  2. 2. BACKGROUND• In Africa, over 70% of the people live in the rural areas and most of these derive livelihoods from agriculture, and poverty is widespread (World Bank, 2010).• Many countries do not adhere to the 10% budget allocation according to the Maputo Declaration• Africa holds 60% of the world’s uncultivated land with the potential, to increase yields by more than three fold by 2030.• Africa faces formidable challenges, such as HIV/AIDS, conflict, and climate change associated with endemic food insecurity.
  3. 3. Economic Significance of the Agricultural SectorAgriculture represents 50-60% of the total economy insome countries, (Guinea Bissau, Ethiopia and CentralAfrica) and 20-40% in sub Saharan Africa Agriculture contributes: ≥40% of exports 30% of GDP ≤ 30% of foreign exchange earnings 70 to 80% of employment
  4. 4. WHY AFRICAN FARMERS FAILHeated debate on the web, triggered by an article in theSouthern Times and of the same title as above.Many blame farmers for failing to apply modern farmingtechniques, hence the poor yields and failure by Africancountries to feed their citizens.Food and agricultural experts attribute failure to lack ofinvestment in the agriculture sector.There is a disconnect between research agenda andpublic interest.Researchers, policy makers and practioners havedifferent values and dynamics, and handle evidence indifferent ways.
  5. 5. PLACING AGRICULTURAL TERTIARY EDUCATION• Tertiary education provides high level knowledge workers and research based knowledge essential for knowledge driven growth.• Results from agricultural research must inform and shape policies and programmes, and be adopted into practice for the research to guarantee agricultural development in the continent.• Considerable social and economic development can accrue from investment in knowledge, especially science and technology.
  6. 6. CONSIDERATIONS FOR PLACING AGRICULTURAL TERTIARY EDUCATION• The Curriculum Review Process• Integration of Entrepreneurial Training• Integration of ICT in Agriculture Training• Monitoring and Evaluation• Staff Recruitment and Training• Exploitation of University Human Resources• Funding of Agricultural Tertiary Institutions• Appreciate the emergence of private universities• Strategic plan for staff development
  7. 7. 1. THE CURRICULUM REVIEW PROCESSCurriculum design and developmentneeds to respond to the needs ofagriculture clientele, in terms of relevanceand timeliness  Target globalisation of the curriculum  Aim at attaining a balance between theory and practical exercises  Diversify learning experiences through classroom lessons and internships; field classes or field attachment
  8. 8. 2. ENTREPRENEURIAL TRAINING• Agriculture is a business; hence, university training needs to expose graduates to self employment and agribusiness skills.• Entrepreneurial skills vital to enhance the abilities of farmers to recognize and evaluate new opportunities and to use farm based resources in the exploitation of new, often non-agricultural markets.• Graduate unemployment, and underemployment, represent wasteful expenditure of scarce resources.• Both graduate unemployment, and underemployment are devastating phenomena in the lives of graduates, and are definite indicators of institutional ineffectiveness and inefficiency.
  9. 9. 3. ICT IN AGRICULTURE TRAININGInformation and Communication Technology appliedfor processing, exchanging and managing data,information and knowledge.Main applications of ICT in Agriculture include:Application of office automationApplication of Knowledge Management SystemApplication of E-commerce and E-learningApplication of ICT for managing Agricultural Resources andServicesApplication of CAD and CAMApplication of Wireless TechnologiesApplication of GPS and GISApplication of Computer controlled devices (Automated systems)
  10. 10. 4. MONITORING AND EVALUATIONNecessary to ensure and insure qualitycontrol (quality assurance)Must consider curriculum relevance andeffectivenessEmployment statistics hence are vital tothe evaluation of university training
  11. 11. 5. STAFF RECRUITMENT Objectives • obtaining the number and quality of employees that can be selected in order to help the organisation to achieve its goals and objectives. • creating a pool of prospective employees for the organisation, at minimum cost • creating the competitive strength and the recruitment strategic advantage for the organisations Stages in the recruitment process • Identify vacancy • Prepare job description and person specification • Advertising the vacancy • Managing the response • Short-listing • Arrange interviews • Conducting interview and decision making
  12. 12. 6. EXPLOITATION OF UNIVERSITY HUMAN RESOURCESUniversities have a pool or reservoir ofexperts in diverse fields, with a repertoireof unique expertise, skills and experience.Develop and maintain linkages withindustryLinks to industry help enrich classroominstruction and are necessary to informformative curriculum evaluation and henceinstruct curriculum reform.
  13. 13. 7. FUNDING OF AGRICULTURAL TERTIARY INSTITUTIONSThe per capita cost of tertiary education isgenerally high.Investment in this sector often benefits afew.Funding is necessary for facilities andequipment; instructional materials;infrastructure development; monitoringnew programmes and scholarships, aswell as research grants.
  14. 14. Can we bridge the technological divide? Global expenditure on R&D, 2000 (UNESCO)350300250 N. America200 Asia150 Europe Africa10050 0 $ billion %GDP equivalents (Europe = 1.7%)
  15. 15. Science within societies Researchers per million people45004000350030002500200015001000500 0 USA Belgium China Malaysia Uganda …Compounded by scientific diaspora
  16. 16. Economic development: Knowledge transformed into goods & servicesEurope: Strong business Source of R&D funds (%)investment, yet publicmistrust of outcomes 100Can Africa emulate Asia? 80Speed of tech. change traps 60countries in low growth 40Foreign direct investment 20alone cannot drive development(UN Millennium Project 2005) 0 Belgium China UgandaHuge support need in linkinginnovation & enterprise Business Govt Abroaddevelopment UNESCO, 1999 data
  17. 17. 8. THE ROLE OFAGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITIESUniversities perform threeessential functions; Opinion basedteaching, research and policy and practiceextension/ communityoutreach.There is an increasingly Evidence basedpowerful expectation that policy and practicerigorous, replicable,relevant, andindependent research After Muir Gray (1997)should make an importantcontribution to theevidence base for action/policy
  18. 18. 9. THE EMERGENCE OF PRIVATE UNIVERSITIESHave an agenda that is at variance with andtherefore not the same or similar to that oftraditional/public universitiesPrivate universities are profit driven hencedissimilar to the traditional/public universitiesDevelopment necessitates policy interventionsmay address the following issues: What is a university? Who should teach at the university (qualification and performance standards)? What standards are to be expected of a university? Peer review mechanisms for lecturing staff
  19. 19. 10. STRATEGIC PLAN FOR STAFF DEVELOPMENTGuided by student and job market needs,and based on results of aresearch/teaching staff assessment orpeer review exercise Innovation necessary to localiseassessment exercise to recognise theextension and community outreach role ofacademics.
  20. 20. CONCLUSIONSProgress depends on much more than enablingfarmers to increase output and establishing astable economy.The role of the state will be essential – directly,through agricultural research and development,but also indirectly.Research scientists and academicians targetpatents, copyrights and publications inesteemed international journals but not mattersof national and public interest
  21. 21. RECOMMENDATIONS Technology robust evidenceThe paper for effective policy makingcalls for policy Agricultural research that willinitiatives, inform and shape policies and agricultural developmentinterventions programmesand Development of appropriateinvestments in low cost technologies to stimulate agriculturalresearch that productiontargets:
  22. 22. Overcoming the innovation barriers – why isn’t science of greater value in development?• Because we over-institutionalize innovation and fail to reconcile scientific and societal trust systems• Because we under-resource pro-poor scientific applications and innovation flows/brokerage• Because ‘northern’ models & institutions shape, dictate and distort ‘southern’ needs & processes• Because we create science-based rules & standards that further disenfranchise the poorest
  23. 23. How can we bridge the innovation domains?• Community-centred, not technology-centred thinking• Innovative knowledge access & transformation systems• Stakeholders learning & innovating together, managing benefits & risks• Institutional reorientation & changed attitudes/values• Convergence of R&D, education and business policies and resources

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