Learning about the role of agriculture and natural resources in sustainable rural development

Together with four students of Wageningen University, I spend two weeks in Kaunas, Lithuania to represent Wageningen University, and the Rural Sociology Group, at this years’ ‘Intensive Programme’ on rural development. In this post I would like to reflect on this interesting experience and share some of the activities, impressions and outcomes.


Intensive programme?

An ‘Intensive Programme’ (or IP) is a short study programme bringing together different EU member states’ students and teachers from higher education institutes to study a relevant topic, in this case: rural development. EU’s main motivation to finance these programmes is to encourage multinational learning and teaching in the EU. The Rural Sociology Group has been participating in IP’s on rural development for some years now. Last years’ IP, hosted by colleagues of Padova University, focused on ‘the role of agriculture in territorial identity’ and took place in the Belluno province in the Italian Dolomites. We have also participated in IP’s with other themes. More recent, colleague Petra Derksen participated in an IP on traditional foods and micro-organisms in Romania. In a series of posts on this weblog she, and participating students, reflect on their experiences in this programme.        

The role of agriculture and natural resources in sustainable rural development

This years’ IP, on rural development, focused on ‘the role of agriculture and natural resources in sustainable rural development’. The programme was hosted by colleagues from the Aleksandras Stulginskis University in Kaunas, Lithuania. Twenty tutors and more than forty students came together for two weeks to discuss and learn about (Lithuanian) rural development. Participants represented universities from: Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Italy, Belgium, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Spain and the Netherlands.

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