SERDANG, SELANGOR, Malaysia — The 2018 UC-FSCC Summer School was opened here this Monday, 16 July 2018, by Prof. Datin Paduka Dató Dr. Aini Ideris, Vice Chancellor of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Malaysia's representative to the SEARCA Governing Board. Jointly organized by UPM, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Indonesia and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) in Austria, the Summer School is titled Oil Palm-Cattle Integration: A Transition Towards Sustainability in Food Security and Climate Change. The Summer School will run until 28 July 2018, while a Training of Trainers (ToT) is being held alongside the first week of the Summer School.
Dr. Maria Cristeta N. Cuaresma, SEARCA Program Head for Graduate Education and Institutional Development, welcomed the participants and resource persons of the Summer School and the ToT. She said that the Summer School has been a regular activity of the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC) since 2015, with the UC members hosting the Summer School on rotation basis.
This year's Summer School has five sub-themes with different learning outcomes and activities. The sub-themes are on: Inter-Linkages of Food Security and Climate Change; Sustainability Transitions; Climate Change and Livestock: Impacts, Adaptation, and Mitigation; Integrated Livestock-Crop Systems in Mitigating Climate Change and Enhancing Food Security; and Oil Palm-Cattle Integration: Strategies to Achieve Synergy between Food Production and Environmental Quality towards Sustainability. The course is inter-disciplinary and multicultural, allowing students to work in diverse groups and collaborative ways. Lectures, field work, small group discussions, and student presentations are learning strategies being utilized in the program that allow for the academic content to be blended with immersive and experiential learning, thereby creating a unique opportunity for participants.
Forty-five students from 14 universities in 8 countries are participating in the Summer School. Among them are 25 students from the UC member universities, namely: 4 from Institut Pertanian Bogor, 5 from UGM, 9 from UPM, 1 from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, 3 from Kasetsart University, 2 from Tokyo University of Agriculture, and 1 from Universitas Brawijaya. The other participants from Southeast Asia come from Chiang Mai University (1), Prince of Songkla University (1), Royal University of Agriculture (4), University of Battambang (4), and Nilai University (1). The 9 European students in the Summer School include 8 from BOKU and 1 from Bern University of Applied Sciences.
On the other hand, there are two modules in the five-day ToT. Module 1 is on Sustainability Transition and Food Security while Module 2 is on Inverted Classrooms and Component-Based Grading Scheme. Participants to the ToT are staff from the MS FSCC partner universities. The MS FSCC is a project of the UC with funding from the European Commission's ERASMUS+ program that is being led by Kasetsart University and managed by SEARCA.