1. THE EDUCATIONAL MODULE AND FACULTIES OF THE UNIVERSITY
International Agriculture University was established by the Presidential Decree №PD-237 dated May 7, 2022, together with the Ministry of Agriculture and the “Royal Agricultural University” of Great Britain. In 2023 it is planned to open a number of bachelor’s degree courses at the International Agriculture University: “BSc (Hons) Agrologistics”, “BSc (Hons) Agroeconomics”, “BSc (Hons) Food Safety Management”, “BSc (Hons) Agriculture”, “Livestock Production Management”, and “Farm Business Management”. In addition, it is planned to open master’s courses in MSc Agricultural Technology and Innovation, MSc Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.
To introduce the quality of education and innovation in agriculture, the International Agriculture University has attracted many professors from developed countries around the world, currently, the university has about 10 guest professors from foreign countries. In 2022, about 20 professors and lecturers from foreign countries working in the field of agriculture visited the university to share their theoretical and practical knowledge with the students and lecturers of the university.
The faculty was formed in the summer of 2022. A lot of work was done over the summer to recruit new faculty members and develop them. Local and international faculty members were recruited. The initial selection was done by the HR department and the interview was conducted by a 3-person panel: colleagues from the Royal Agricultural University, the academic coordinator of the International Agriculture University, and an independent expert. Based on the results of the interview, the acting rector conducted another interview, after which registration, visa assistance, and other procedures began.
Among them were specialists working in soil science, animal husbandry, agrochemistry, microbiology, agricultural logistics and a number of agricultural areas in countries such as the United States, Germany, Norway, Italy, Spain, Poland and Russia. On November 7-11, 2022, faculty and staff of the International Agriculture University visited the “Royal Agricultural University” in England in order to improve the quality of education at the university and to acquire scientific and methodological knowledge.
On December 2, 2022 at the International Agriculture University an international conference “Food security and sustainable development” was held. The conference was attended by representatives of about 30 countries. On December 16, 2022 at the International Agriculture University a conference on “Reforms in agriculture” was held. It was attended by the Ministry of Agriculture and ambassadors from 35 countries. The International Agriculture University in 2022 established cooperation with a number of world-renowned agricultural universities, including the Latvian University of Life Sciences and Technology, the University of Applied Sciences of Weinstephan-Trisdorf High School, the Islamabad Quaid-I-AZAM University, the Vytautas Magnus University of Lithuania. In 2022, the International Agriculture University began cooperation with local research centres, including the “Research Institute of Vegetables, Rice Crops and Potatoes”. Currently, professors at the International Agriculture University collaborate with the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO).
In 2022, by the decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the International Agriculture University admitted students only on a grant basis. The university began its activities Agro-incubator (start-up projects centre) and the centre of professional development (capacity building centre). At the university at seminars, lectures, workshops, business breakfasts and various other events, students have the opportunity to communicate with entrepreneurs, managers and leading professionals who have achieved success in their field. Renowned biologists and agricultural chemists mentor and advise students. Developing students’ knowledge of the English language and basic skills such as critical thinking, teamwork and presentation is the main goal of the university.
Commencement: IAU welcomed its first 160 students for the academic week on Sept. 12. A 1-week orientation/induction week was held for the new students to introduce them to the British educational system and learn the principles and rules. They met their fellow students and course director and got to know their peers to get a feel for the university system. During orientation, students were divided into groups. Each group consisted of 20 students led by a facilitator. The facilitators introduced the students to the university, we helped them integrate and make friends with their classmates and start the academic year in their new place. On September 19, the academic process began in the TSAU building.
2. ADMISSION PROCESSES AND RESULTS
As a result of the combined efforts of all departments involved, despite the fact that IAU is relatively new in the market, more than 160 candidates have so far been enrolled in the basic and undergraduate degree programs. Currently, 140 students are enrolled in the Foundation Course Program and 20 students are enrolled in the Baccalaureate Program.
In addition to the entrance exams, the admissions team conducted seven rounds of admissions interviews with more than 220 people who received an offer of study at IAU. During the interview, candidates had the opportunity to explain their motivation for studying at IAU and their future career plans and share their ideas on how to contribute to the development of agriculture in Uzbekistan.
The main criterion for admission was knowledge of English with an IELTS score of at least 5.0 for the Foundation Year program and 5.5 for the Bachelor program. For students with no English proficiency, IAU in cooperation with the Corinium Language Centre in the UK organized entrance exams on July 25 and August 30. Sixty-six candidates participated in these exams, of whom 25 passed.
Candidates could apply by filling out an online form and attaching copies of their high school or college diploma, certificate of IELTS or any other equivalent exam, passport and a recent photograph. The marketing and call centre staff provided assistance to applicants who had difficulty completing the online application.
In order to promote admission, the marketing department undertook numerous visits to local agricultural universities and training centres to establish contact with potential applicants. In addition, the marketing team tried to use all available social media channels, including well-known local bloggers on Facebook, Instagram, Telegram and YouTube. This attracted more than 660 applications from potential candidates.
Admission is in accordance with IAU’s Admission Policy, which can be found on the university’s official website.
Thanks to the opportunity to receive a grant from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Uzbekistan, candidates from 12 regions and Karakalpakstan had the opportunity to receive a high-quality education at an international university.
The university was willing to provide special accommodations for students requiring special consideration and advised their parents on the application and tuition process for such applicants.
In addition to the 60 offers in the capital city of Tashkent, 100 places were distributed among other regions.
The university provided equal opportunities for all applicants, including male and female applicants. Currently, 64% and 36% of the 160 students enrolled are male and female, respectively.
3. INAUGURATION CEREMONY
The opening ceremony of the International Agriculture University (IAU) was held on September 27, 2022 in Tashkent. The event included the inauguration of the first academic year, as well as the commissioning of the new building and an exhibition of agricultural technology. The event was attended by representatives of many government agencies, led by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Jamshid Khodjaev. It was attended by representatives of many embassies and international organizations, heads of leading agricultural companies and media representatives.
The international scale of the event is confirmed by the participation of representatives from many countries: Great Britain, the United States, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Poland, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.
Cooperation agreements were signed between IAU and Bek Corp LCC. The document was signed by Senator Ulugbek Sotiboldiev of Uzbekistan. This was an expression of IAU’s commitment to working with businesses and the private sector.
An important event was the planting of a tree in front of the new building by Deputy Prime Minister Jamshid Khodjaev. At the initiative of the students, a traditional time capsule was placed at the roots of the tree. An important element of the event was an exhibition of leading agrarian companies. Business partners of the new university: AKIS Centre, Fermerlar Maktabi, TST-Agro, Syngenta Agro AG, Zamin Best Food, Milk Tex Profi, AGROCUB, Uzdavyerloyiha, IFT Project, Indorama Kokand Textile JJ, POLY TEX SIRDARYO, PROMEAT, SOF Cluster, UVT Global, Bek Corp, TCT Cluster, SRI Vegetable, Legume and Potato Growing, SRI Cotton, Seed and Agro-technology Growing.
The event was widely covered in the media. Reports, interviews and photos Hudud – MY5, New Age – Yoshlar, Human.uz, Zamon – Sevimli Tv, Fakt24 – Uzbekistan, National News Agency UZA, Bright Uzbekistan, Gazeta.uz, T.
Events held at the university in May-December 2022.
– The solemn opening of IAU (27.09.2022): 500 people, representatives of 10 countries, 15 media
– Visit of deputies of the Bundestag (15.10.2022): Diplomats from the German Embassy, online media
– Latvian Delegation Master Programs (14.11.2022)
– International Conference and Business Mixer “Food Security and Sustainable Development” (2.12.2022): 14 countries, 70 scientists, 20 agricultural entrepreneurs, 15 media coverage.
– Erasmus Plus Cluster Meeting (26.12.2022): 10 projects, 50 people
– Multiple student vacations: admission week, international student day, new year.
4. RESEARCH ACTIVITIES.
In addition to educational activities, professors and faculty are also required to be active in research. The Academic Council was formed in December 2022. The Academic Council was established at the Institute for the awarding of degrees in Economic Sciences at the International Agriculture University in accordance with the decision of the Academic Council No. 05/15.12.2022.1.155.01 (15.12.2022, No. 328).
The Academic Council №PhD.05/15.12.2022.1.155.01 of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Uzbekistan approved the decision to award academic degrees in economics at the International Agriculture University. The composition of this scientific council was approved by voting on the petition No. 07/34-9625 dated December 21, 2022. 50% of the council members are foreign nationals.
In addition, there is a need to increase research capacity and access to agro clusters and farming issues to enhance applied research aimed at the objectives derived from PD-6097.
To this end, PD-237 defines a special structure in the university, the Production Centre for Retraining and Professional Development, which is designed to fill the gaps between the university and agricultural actors.
The centre was officially established on December 26, 2022 and began operations.
PD-237 provides for the creation and implementation of start-up projects based on the scientific work of students, graduate students and researchers, as well as professors and teachers. The decision also states that the incubator’s activities should be funded by international financial institutions.
The agricultural incubator was officially established on December 26, 2022 and began operations.
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