Dean of Faculty of Agronomy prof. dr. Aušra Blinstrubienė and director of Institute of Economics, Accounting and Finance prof. dr. Vilija Aleknevičienė visited the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Viena on May 2-6, 2017 under the teachers’ exchange program ERASMUS +. During the visit prof. dr. Aušra Blinstrubienė met prof. dr. Eva Stoger of Applied Genetics and Cell Biology Department and discussed scientific research in plant genetics, biochemistry and pathology areas, identified the directions for scientific cooperation between ASU and BOKU. Meeting with the head of Department of Agronomy prof. dr. Hans-Peter Kaul made it possible to discuss innovative study methods, opportunities for students’ and teachers’ exchange as well as to establish contacts for future joint projects. Prof. dr. Vilija Aleknevičienė discussed with prof. Jochen Kantelhardt, the head of the Center for Agricultural Sciences and the Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Economics. Discussion enabled identifying common fields of research, i.e. valuation and financing of public goods in agricultural sector. ASU researchers have been invited to participate at BOKU’s scientific conference next year.
During the visit professors had a chance to participate in the CEDIA-ICA conference “Defining Agronomists Professional Profiles and Agricultural and Life Science Study Programmes” and to discuss how agricultural and life science study programmes influence the professional profile of a modern agronomist; how professional associations, alumni organizations and life science universities can support each other in delivering professionals and leaders for transformation of bio-economy–agriculture, food and non-food sectors according to the principals of sustainable development. Vice-rector of BOKU prof. Josef Glossl made an interesting presentation about designing study programmes in BOKU that are all interdisciplinary. These programmes are composed from study courses in natural, technological and economic sciences, while the qualification given for students depends on the elective modules.
Professors have discovered that Universities of Life Sciencies, Alumni associations, professional organizations not only have common interests, but in many ways collaborate to make study programmes more attractive for future students that are transformed into successful professionals in the broad fields of bio-economy and rural development. In addition, it was discovered that there is a lot more to share and that there is a need to stay in touch with each other. Experience of participants from different EU countries enabled the exchange of ideas and contacts for future international cooperation.