FTA got new project funded by ELLS

The new project “Networking through student cooperation on case study challenges (NET-COOP)” is supported by ELLS network and the project team consists of academic staff from BOKU, CZU and SLU. The main goal of the project is to connect students of master's study programs of three ELLS universities (horizontally) and at the same time of different study programs (vertically) within one university so that they jointly develop a case study in the form of a proposal for an international project focused on the eating habits of refugees who had to leave their country. Each working group will prepare a part of the project in terms of its focus (food safety and security, plant health, social aspects of consumers, sustainability of agricultural production, international cooperation, SDG's) and will share it with other groups from partner universities. The topic of food security for refugees and their eating habits in the host country was chosen as a cross-cutting theme for the case studies in this project. According to information from the UNHRC (the UN Refugee Agency), there are currently 35.3 million worldwide refugees as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events seriously disturbing public order. More than half of all refugees come from just three countries, the Syrian Arab Republic (6.8 million), Ukraine (5.7 million), and Afghanistan (5.7 million). Most refugees are accepted by countries such as Turkey (3.6 million people), followed by the Islamic Republic of Iran (3.4 million people), Colombia (2.5 million people) and Germany (2.1 million people).

Students from BOKU, CZU and SLU will work in groups on four case studies (countries) to focus on the food security of refugees in each country, they will always choose their perspective according to the focus of their course (see Figure 1) and process the available data - either from the literature or through surveys, preferably combined. The four case studies which will gradually circulate between universities according to the prepared case study template (project proposal) format. At the end, the students will prepare a presentations and posters, which they will present during the event called The Green Plate Forum on 25th June 2024 in the TÜWI student restaurant, BOKU, Vienna. During this event, students will compile a degustation menu composed of one dish per country, prepare the recipe, focus on the sustainability of the production of the selected dish, and discuss the aspects of sustainable consumption with the audience.

This unique environment will provide a safe space for students to freely exchange ideas and opinions on (plant-based) food production, food security and sustainable production of (plant) food ingredients and possible alternatives that are part of traditional dishes of displaced inhabitants of each country from the case studies. The attendees of the event will be international students of the course Scientific Communication and Impacts (Applied Development Research?II, selected students and academic staff of BOKU, CZU and SLU and invited guests (e.g. stakeholders, policy and other decision makers). An invitation to the event will be circulated within the ELLS network and any University student in the ELLS network will be able to attend as long as the space capacity of the restaurant permits.

Figure 1: Concept of the project: universities and the respective courses that will be involved in the project

Project timeline:

  • The project will be implemented in 2024 (January – December)
  • Academic staff coordination meeting – 25 January 2024 (online project team meeting)
  • Joint launch of the case studies - February/March 2024 (online seminar for all students, presentation of the project and case studies)
  • Preparation of materials for case studies by project teams - February - June
  • The Green Plate Forum event organized by students at BOKU on the occasion of World Refugee Day - 25 June 2024 (resulting student presentations)
  • Student participation in the ELLS Conference – November 2024
  • Final Project Team Meeting – December 2024

Project team at CZU:

Dr. Petra Chaloupkova (chaloupkova@ftz.czu.cz)

Dr. Olga Leuner (leuner@ftz.czu.cz)


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