To face challenges in Plant sciences associated to global changes (climate, demography, new crop protections), the project Erasmus+ ESCAPAdE aims to facilitate students mobility in Applied Plant Sciences and to improve the interactions between present and future actors: students, professors, researchers and stakeholders.
Demographic growth and climate change raise a tremendous challenge for the next generation of professionals in Applied Plant Sciences: producing more with less. Seven European universities have decided to join forces to tackle this challenge. That’s how the ESCAPAdE project started.
ESCAPAdE (EraSmus Curricula in Applied PlAnt SciEnces) is a European Erasmus+ project. It has received funding from the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. The project runs from September 2018 to August 2021.
A group of 22 associated partners is also part of the picture and is helping frame a European collaborative network. So we are gathering expertise and views from both professionals and academics.
– Improvement of the curricula we offer in Plant Sciences for graduate students. We will do this with a three-fold approach. Courses content will be modified to better take into account the needs of future employers. New teaching methods will be tried out during 2 Summer Schools and shared in the network. Work will be carried out to get a ‘Quality Label’ certification for our curricula in Applied Plant Sciences
– Facilitation of student mobility in Europe. We will promote opportunities for Master’s students in Applied Plant Sciences to study abroad in one of the 7 universities that are part of the ESCAPAdE project (bachelor students may apply too, provided prerequisites are met). A user-friendly online mobility tool will provide information on course content in order for students to devise a sound Erasmus stay abroad project, adapted to their professional needs.
The short and longer-term benefits of the ESCAPAdE project
– The European dimension of our Universities will be consolidated.
– We will provide our students with the best opportunities to be trained in Applied Plant Sciences.
– Improved curricula will be even more relevant than they currently are to match job market and societal needs.
– Applied Plant Sciences curricula and training will be more visible and attractive.
Dissemination of the project involves extending the network to more partners, including non-European countries.
Seven top-notch European higher education institutions in Life and Agricultural Sciences are working hand in hand to reach ESCAPAdE’s challenging objectives: have a look at them and discover which teams and departments are involved in ESCAPAdE.
Erasmus + ESCAPAdE is not an escapade but a summer school
From 17 to 24 August 2021, a summer school called Host Plant Resistance Breeding took place in Alnarp, one of the 4 campuses of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) based in Uppsala. It was organized as part of the ESCAPAdE project - EraSmus Curricula in Applied PlAnt SciEnces, a European project funded by the European Union-funded Erasmus + Strategic partnership from September 2018 to August 2021 and focused on the development of plant sciences in response to global change (e.g. integrated crop protection and breeding). The summer school was attended by 40 master's students from a number of European universities of the ELLS consortium, including 4 FTZ students, 8 tutors - doctoral students who led smaller groups of students and helped them solve assigned tasks (two tutors were from FTZ: Anna Maňourová and Ingrid Faltová), and many experts in the field of APS (including doc. Zbyněk Polesný from FTZ), who assigned and evaluated tasks and led lectures and workshops.
Authentic view of two PhD tutors:
“Thanks to the ESCAPAdE project, we had the opportunity to participate in a summer school in Alnarp, Sweden, whose campus belongs to SLU. The main topic of this weekly training was the breeding of resistant plants to diseases and pests. During a very intensive six days, students from the partner ELLS universities attended not only interesting lectures, but also several workshops and group work on various topics, starting with insect pheromones and ending with transgenic organisms. As a tutor, we each took care of our own group of students, whose goal was to prepare a two-page summary and a three-minute presentation using the "project based learning" method. By respecting our faculty, we came up with two themes: "How to form and pest resistance in crops: the study case of Noorda blitealis on moringa trees in Ethiopia" and "Antimicrobial activity of essential oils against pathogens causing agricultural spoilage", the latter mentioned the topic was finally awarded by a commission of experts on plant protection and breeding. The presentations took place in the style of a scientific conference and thus offered students the opportunity to try out the final discussion and questions directly on the body. Although this week, especially for students, was really challenging, for many it was one of the first chances to get abroad from the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and experience teaching other than online. Both the students and the lecturers really tried to get the best out of themselves, they were full of ideas and energy, and Alnarp became, at least for a while, the academic center of the whole of Sweden. ”
More information about the partners, activities and outputs of the ESCAPAdE project can be found on the website.
Erasmus + ESCAPAdE is not an escapade, but an international project
Demographic growth and climate change present a current challenge for the next generation of professionals in the field of Applied Plant Sciences (APS): how to grow more crops without drawing more resources. Seven European universities, including the CZU Prague through the Faculty of Tropical Agriculture, have decided to join forces to address this challenge. Thus began the project ESCAPAdE - EraSmus Curricula in Applied PlAnt SciEnces. This European Union-funded Erasmus + Strategic partnership project, which ran from September 2018 to August 2021, focused on the development of plant sciences in response to global change (e.g. integrated crop protection and breeding).
- Common database of subjects in the field of APS taught at individual partner universities;
- Implementation of innovative methods in education in the field of APS;
- Improving the interaction between students, academics and professionals and analyzing the needs and insights between the various actors in the field of APS;
- Webinar "Stakeholders expectations from higher education in Applied Plant Sciences in Europe";
- Summer schools:
The first summer school planned on the CZU campus in 2020 could not take place due to the pandemic situation in 2020 associated with measures to stop the spread of the SARS-COV19 virus and the disease it causes.
The second summer school took place in August 2021 in Alnarp on the campus of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
- Job Fair (held from 23 to 24 August 2021 in Alnarp, Sweden).
More information about the partners, activities and outputs of the project can be found on the website.