The project addresses the demand of educating professionals in Animal Breading and Livestock Production on high quality and international standards to increase knowledge based solutions for sustainable agriculture, animal welfare and combating climate change impact by livestock sector towards achievement of climate neutrality as according to the European Green Deal 2050.
Ukraine is one of the big livestock producers with a major focus on dairy cattle, pigs and poultry. In 2020 2477,5 thousand tons meat (in slaughter weight), 9263,6 thousand tons milk and 16167,2 million eggs have been produced. At 1st of January 2021 1673,0 thousand caws, 5876,2 thousand pigs and 200,7 million heads of poultry are kept. The livestock sector constitutes therefore – from one side – a large share of GDP and foresters economic development of the country, from another side – via emission of greenhouse gasses – it causes climate impacts, which are reaching wider beyond the national borders of the country. In addition, the issue of animal welfare is rather new. Despite growing attention to it from the policy (especially after Ukraine became a part of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) in 2014), animal welfare principles are still rarely introduced into production practices on Ukrainian agricultural enterprises including farmers and households. Education is seen a key instrument to overcome this gap. Combination of innovative demand-driven and practice-oriented educational offer for young livestock and veterinary specialists along with an LLL offer for practicing livestock producers (agricultural enterprises and households) is seen a key to overcome the existing gap. Therefore, the consortium puts emphasis on the cooperation between business sector and HEIs, towards successful introduction of knowledge based sustainable solutions and animal welfare practices into the livestock production processes in Ukraine and specifies the following objectives:
1. to modernize existing Master’s curricula in Animal Breading, Livestock Production and Veterinary Sciences via:
joint development and implementation of innovative contents on animal welfare and sustainable livestock production;
- capacity building of teaching staff and introduction of innovative didactic methods and research-based studies;
- integration of practical education elements via continuous exchange and cooperation with business partners their involvement in teaching process and practical placements and
- offering teaching units in foreign language (English)
… to qualify graduates of Master’s programmes on innovative methods and approaches in sustainable livestock breading and animal welfare.
2. To establish and equip innovative excellence centres for Life Long Learning in 1/ Sustainable Cattle Breading and Milk Production (LVET, Lviv), 2/ Sustainable Poultry Production (PSAU, Poltava) and 3/ Sustainable Pig Farming (NUBiP, Kyiv) and 4/ an information and knowledge transfer center in V. Dahl EUNU (currently Kyiv) with a focus on digital skills, distance learning and virtual mobility.
(3) to strengthen of cooperation between Ukrainian agrarian HEIs and agricultural business sector via cooperation on development and implementation of innovative Master’s programmes, students’ practical training, LLL and knowledge-transfer activities to exchange best-practices and provide education according to international standards;
(4) to facilitate national and international academic exchange via introducing physical and virtual mobility elements for students among participating HEIs.
Overall the institutional capacity increases to tackle education and research demand in the area of sustainable livestock breading and animal welfare.