Cooperation to answer to the specific needs of Mongolian agriculture
Mongolian agriculture : a fast changing sector
Mongolia is an immense country of East Asia (1 500 000 km²), that contains very few arable lands and is subject to harsh climatic conditions, both features limiting its capacity in food production. It is the most sparsely populated sovereign state, with a population of around three million people. Approximately 30% of the population is nomadic or semi-nomadic, but since a very serious crisis in livestock farming at the beginning of the 2010s, they are more and more to settle in Ulan-Bator, the country’s capital and largest city. In 2017, around half of the total Mongol population lives in Ulan-Bator.
The Mongolian government is then leading a policy of agricultural production reviving and agri-food modernisation, which requires trained executives to be applied. Indeed, the country is currently in a situation of food dependency, importing its products from China and Russia, its two neighbour countries. In addition to the large scale programs launched by the government, Mongolia is supported by the Asian Bank of Development and other development specialized organisations.
To adapt university education in order to answer national needs and apply new agricultural policies
As the agricultural and agri-food sectors are currently in a situation of expansion and modernisation, the partner universities of the project requires to adjust their formations so their students can be fully prepared to work in this changing environment.
To reach this goal, the first step is to bring complementary trainings to the universities’ teachers, so they can adapt their formation to the students, in terms of pedagogical and technological approach. Then, it is necessary that students have an easier access to their courses content, which is made possible by the development of e-learning. In the end, the development of deeper ties between universities and companies will improve their integration into the professional world.
The Mongolian Food and Agriculture Ministry, supported by the Higher Education Ministry, has solicited the Mongolian partner universities to file this project. These universities have developed over the years several collaborations with EU higher education institutions, and this continues their partnership.
Concretely, the project aims 3 objectives :
- To implement e-learning technology and use in the involved departments of the partner universities. This will improve the availability of the courses content for students and their exchanges with teachers. E-learning allows an easier diffusion of knowledge and bring new perspectives in terms of lifelong learning.
- To develop the practical and technological knowledge of Mongolian lecturers so they can transfer it to their students, completing the theoretical aspect of dispensed courses.
- To bring lecturers and students closer to the professional world by the implementation of joint activities such as: job fair, internships and alumni networks.