Developing a Joint Master of Sciences in Sustainable Food Production Systems in Western Balkan Countries: Evidence on the Design Process, the Structure of the Curriculum, and the Importance of a New Postgraduate Program

  • E. Berberi
  • R. Kongoli
  • A. P. Vouros
  • V. Chatzipetrou
  • F. Morina
  • E. Mujić
  • S. Bajramović
  • N. Shala
  • I. Hoxha
  • U. Rraci
  • M. Toader
  • M. Lošťák
  • G. T. Tsoulfas
  • Y. Mouzakitis
  • A. Eminoglu
Keywords: Erasmus , higher education, master program, sustainable food systems, food engineering, Western Balkans

Abstract

Food production systems are undergoing a structural transformation towards a sustainable resilient state, offering opportunities for economic benefits, employment creation, and enhanced food safety and security. Governing this sustainability transition is a complex process which calls for interventions at all policy levels, including higher education. Adopting an agri-food systems perspective, the Western Balkans countries are facing challenges which are mostly related to issues such as the modernization of food engineering and food management practices, the organic agriculture production, the post-harvest processes, the supply chain management, the corresponding environmental footprint, etc. Tackling with the afore-mentioned topics requires educational interventions (among other actions), which may contribute effectively towards the specific sustainability transition. To this purpose, and in light of these countries' current convergence, with the European Union, the Erasmus+ “STEPS” project offered a unique opportunity for collaboration between eleven (11) European partners, who led to the development of a joint Master of Sciences Program entitled “Sustainable Food Production Systems” with two directions: “Food Engineering and Food Safety”, and “Food Production Systems Management”. The paper sheds light on the development process of the curriculum, providing evidence on the design process, the structure and the syllabus of the courses, the necessary accreditation process, and the benefits of the new joint postgraduate program.
Published
2022-05-27
Section
Articles