ADVALUE: New Erasmus+ program strengthening the East African capacity in higher education

The ‘green deal’ goals for a climate-neutral and globally fair society are part of the EU priorities for university cooperation with African partners. Together with an international consortium, Nürtingen-Geislingen University (NGU) received 800,000 euros in project funds from the EU ‘Erasmus+’ program for capacity building in higher education for this purpose. The funded project ‘ADVALUE’ focuses on the training and research topics of sustainable agricultural value chains.

The acronym ADVALUE stands for ‘Advancing Sustainable Agricultural Value Chains through Strengthening Transdisciplinary Skills and Cooperation in East African Doctoral Education‘. The three-year collaborative project will start in January 2024. The central core of the project activities is the development of four modules that will be integrated into the doctoral education of the East African partners and aim at improving the quality of teaching and research. The project is built as a natural follow-up of a PlantLink-supported Erasmus+ project ESCAPAdE (Erasmus Curricula in Applied Plant Sciences).

Especially at doctoral students’ training level for research work, the practical relevance must not be lost. Instead, to achieve sustainable development goals, it is essential to conduct research with and for the practice. Two modules deal with pastoralism and agricultural value chains, important economic sectors in Kenya and Uganda. The other two modules focus on approaches and methods in scientific work and transdisciplinary research.

NGU, with Prof. Dr. Heinrich Schüle, is coordinating the project. Participating partners from European countries are the German Institute of Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture Witzenhausen, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and AGRINATURA (European Alliance in Agricultural Knowledge for Development) as associated network partners. The partners in Kenya and Uganda are the University of Nairobi and Pwani University Kilifi, as well as Makerere University Kampala and Uganda Christian University in Mukono. RUFORUM (Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture) will support and facilitate the exchange within the African university network as an additional partner. Furthermore, the associated partners include the national ministries of research and education in Kenya and Uganda.

In addition to the module development and pilot events, study visits will take place, and a discourse on quality development in agricultural science faculties will involve a wider audience.

SLU project contacts: Erik Alexandersson

                                   Anna Manourova