THE College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) has been presented with the award for distinguished contribution to international education by Michigan State University (MSU).
The “H. Paul Roberts Distinguished Service in Education Abroad” was presented to George Moffett, Head of Agriculture Education, CAFRE, at a Reception in MSU by the Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Ron Hendricks.
“This award is being given in recognition of the contributions of CAFRE staff”, said Dr Hendricks, “who gave their time, energy and creativity to the development, implementation and support of the programmes that sustain MSU’s commitment to providing students with high quality international education programmes.”
CAFRE and MSU developed the student exchange partnership in the mid-1990s and to date over 170 students have benefited from the programme.
Students live and study in the host institution for a semester, participating in all activities, both academic and social. The benefits to the students is much more than what they learn in the classroom.
Being independent, making friends, living in a different culture, learning new skills and getting the opportunity to travel are a few of the benefits quoted by participating students.
Compared to the 1,700 students at CAFRE, MSU has 52,000 students and the campus covers over 2,000 hectares. Accommodation for the 17,000 first year students is provided in 20 residential halls. However, there are also lots of similarities between the two institutions.
MSU was one of the pioneer land-grant Colleges and was the first higher level institution in the USA to teach the science of Agriculture.
Graduates from both institutions go on to work in similar roles in the agri-food sector making a valuable contribution to industry management and development.
MSU have also been so impressed by some of the CAFRE concepts such as the Food Innovation Centre at Loughry Campus that they have built similar facilities on their own campus.
The programme continues to evolve. In 2016 a six week summer programme was introduced for MSU Horticulture and Agriculture students. Work is ongoing to include similar opportunities for both Equine and Food. In addition plans are underway to develop a staff exchange as part of continuous personal development.
Everyone who has participated in the programme to date has agreed that it is ‘a life changing experience’.