Visiting Flemish, Swiss academicians all praise for ‘Field work’

Acclaimed academicians from ETH, Zurich and KU Leuven universities while shepherding their students in the on-going researches in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia along with AMU students in particular termed ‘field work’ as the most exciting and valuable experience in a cross-cultural, national and socio-economic environment.

Recently held ‘Field work’ for Master research students of AMU, ETH Zurich and KU Leuven universities in Gamo Gofa zone has been mutually beneficial wherein AMU in particular inclined to gain immensely in multiple ways for collaborating with two global institutions of high caliber. Below follows the spontaneous views of visiting professors as they praise it.

Prof. Johan Six of ETH Zurich, said, this field work of three-nation research students is going quite well. And especially for Swiss students, coming from different culture backwater actually find it extraordinary and they are pleased to be in this tropical milieu.

Prof. Stefaan Dondenyne, of KU Leuven, said, he is delighted to be here, as it has lay bared the reality, and understanding dawned on them as to what they know and what they don’t, because it’s different than classroom study. And students are learning to work in a diverse team.

He further adds, it’s challenging to work in a group and in such a unique ecological zone, they seem to have been enjoying here, which otherwise could have been pretty tough in Europe.

Prof. Eoedele Van den Broeck of Agricultural Economics termed this field course as a great opportunity for students of three nations to have this intercultural exchange. It’s looked at as an inter-disciplinary perspective, wherein analyzing soil characteristic, economic situation of farmers, eco-system and biodiversity has also been a great learning experience.

About Flemish students superlative performance, she said, there were some points where even they lacked something, but now mixed team is executing their task, and it will remain to be seen as to how interesting will be the end results. Basically, its character what matters, but most important aspect is that they are working in a team.

AMU-IUC overall Flemish Coordinator, Prof. Roel Merckx, informed that it’s second time such course is being organized in Arba Minch. The most interesting part is the mosaic team spirit and group work will generate interesting dynamics. It will give valuable experience in their career as none of them had ever been in Africa and Ethiopia in particular for the field work.

Being overwhelmed, Prof. Roel reiterated that in the span of five years of his interaction, these two weeks have been splendid. It’s part of wider AMU-IUC where such courses are imbedded in it. For this, a separate project has been introduced along with University of Eldoret, Kenya, for such field courses which will continue for next three years.

It’s being initiated with University of Eldoret, Kenya, because the budget Flemish government had given to Ethiopia has been totally earmarked while Kenya has their open. In 2019, it will be organized again at AMU and in 2020, in Kenya, he summed up.

A PhD student, Koen Vanderhaegen, who supervises bio-diversity and eco-system assessment, said, it’s a great inter-cultural experience, which is very unique in this rich agro-ecological and agricultural niche for learning new things, he opined.

(Corporate Communication Directorate)