As from autumn 2022, HOGENT University of Applied Sciences and Arts offers a new international exchange programme: AgroFoodSustainability. In this program, students and teachers explore concepts and practical applications of what a sustainable agri-food system might look like.
Students following this program are introduced to the principles of sustainable agriculture and food production, green management, circular agri-food systems and global sustainable development.
Moreover, students are brought together in a multidisciplinary and international classroom to enhance exchange and collaboration on the complex challenges the agri-food sector is facing, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, food waste,… Possible solutions for the transition towards a more sustainable agri-food system are explored in depth with activating lectures, case studies, field visits and group discussions. Finally, each student will be encouraged and guided to work out an individual trajectory within the broader topic, adding a strongly personalized accent to the programme.
The interdisciplinary team of lecturers has a background in agri- and horticulture, food technology and green management. Their state-of-the-art knowledge and expertise is founded in through their research within the multidisciplinary research group AgroFoodNature and their network in the field. The content of the programme is therefore continuously adjusted to the latest evolutions in both research and policy.
The target group of the AgroFoodSustainablity programme includes both Belgian and international students pursuing a professional Bachelor's degree in the broad field of agricultural sciences, food technology and/or green and plant management. Incoming students must have obtained a minimum of 60 credits. The language of instruction is English.
The programme is a 1 semester course (autumn semester) and offers the following courses for a total of 30 credits:
Course on the principles of sustainable agriculture, food technology and green management. The central goal is to get acquainted with the different components of the agri-food system and to understand the most important concepts concerning management of the natural as well as the agricultural environment.
Interdisciplinary course on the complex global challenges for the agri-food system and possible solutions for the transition towards a more sustainable sector.
Interactive course in which students, together with their teachers and based on company visits, approach the Agro Food Sustainability theme. There is a common trajectory in which company visits and group discussions are pivotal, and an individual trajectory in which the student defines his own learning goals, works out a portfolio and presents it to other students and teachers.
Course on sustainable energy production and the origin and valorisation of by-products in the agri-food sector.
Course on the concepts, visions, principles and indicators of sustainable development. Other treated topics are system errors, system and holistic thinking, future thinking, the ecological footprint and challenges in sustainable development.
U!reka Debates (3 ECTS)
The U!reka debates can be the stage of the U!reka partner institutions that offers university and university college students, teachers and interested parties a forum for reflection on those relevant social, cultural and scientific themes.
One kick-off session is given by the organizing institution with detailed information about the course. This will be followed by an opening lecture.
The other partners organize 2 lectures, one in each semester, with the same theme given by experts from various fields or disciplines. Each lecture is followed by a debate or by questions from the audience.
Survival Dutch (3 ECTS)
This course is an introduction to the Belgian cultural and political characteristics. At the same time, it is a language course: learning Dutch is the central goal. Daily situations are the starting point to learn grammar, vocabulary and specific skills to function in a Dutch speaking environment.
As a result, the student should be able to:
- Understand words and basic sentences about himself, family and close environment, when people are talking clearly and slowly
- Understand sentences and messages on billboards, announcements, etc.
- Use a number of expressions and sentences to describe oneself, family and other people, education, job, etc.
- Participate in a simple discussion, when other participants are prepared to talk slowly and repeat certain things if necessary. The student should be able to ask simple questions and give answers as long as it concerns topics that are familiar.
Entrepreneurship/social entrepreneurship (3 ECTS)
This course offers a profound understanding of (social) business modelling and aims to enhance the student’s entrepreneurial competencies. Ideas proposed by the students themselves will be developed into a real business project. Students work in small teams to achieve this goal.
Belgian culture studies (3 ECTS)
The main aim of the course is to provide the students with basic information about “The Low Countries”, more specifically Belgium. Starting from their own (foreign) view on Belgium, the students will gradually get to know the complex Belgian situation (language, culture, history, politics, etc.) through examples and real-life situations.
- Belgian history and geography
- Social and political structure of the country
- Belgian arts and artists (painters, film makers, strip cartoonists, musicians, …)
Cross Cultural Communication (3 ECTS)
- Welcome days: 22 & 23 September 2022
- Start of the programme: 26 September 2022
- Start of Exams: 9 January 2023
- End of semester: 3 February 2023
Questions about the program?