Global Donor Platform for Rural Development
Godesberger Allee 119 | 53175 Bonn | Germany
phone: +49 228 249 341 65
fax: +49 228 249 342 15
Weak linkages between institutes of higher agricultural education and the labour market are emphasised by the Young Professionals’ Platform in Agricultural Research for Development (YPARD). In the study “Working towards a new generation of Young Professionals in ARD” YPARD has contributed to the debate on change in formal education, asking young professionals to identify those competencies that they were not adequately provided.
The study concludes that young professionals should be better able to conduct research; to communicate results and advice, organise and plan, make effective use of the internet and to learn academic writing skills. They should develop entrepreneurial, marketing and financial skills and language abilities. Curricula must be revised to provide students training for a career in ARD to acquire these 'soft skills' rather than technical skills and theory only.
According to YPARD, curriculum developers must involve a range of stakeholders in identification of relevant revision to curricula, including Industries, alumni, students, teachers, consultants, ministries of education and/or agriculture, international donors and research organisations.
Overcrowded classrooms, outdated books, limited access to practical training facilities and little exposure to authentic working situations are challenges that must also be addressed at the same time as a revision of curricula is taking place. In terms of general higher education experience, the study indicates that it is very important to gain experience from on-the-job training possibly through internships.