International students learn about agriculture and sustainability in Chania


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Growing concerns about the problems of environment, biodiversity and food security in the Mediterranean region are at the heart of the research of George Fakotakis, researcher at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of CIHEAM in Chania (CIHEAM MAICH), who highlighted light what its program has to offer international students.

“Our ambition is for our students to deepen their knowledge, critical understanding, applied skills and ability to analyze and evaluate as well as to implement advanced research so that they are able to contribute to specific key questions regarding Mediterranean agriculture, food systems, environment, rural development and other related subjects. We believe that our MSc graduates maximize return on investment, not only for their own interests but also for the mutual benefit of their countries He said, adding that the course has advantages for international students, knowing that it is in English.

“Many of our alumni currently hold prestigious positions in academic institutes such as the universities of: Nebraska-Lincoln, USA; Regina, California; Ege, TR; Maastricht, The Netherlands; Reading, United Kingdom, etc. and / or research organizations, government management organizations, aid programs, local authorities, as well as positions in the private sector. Over 300 CIHEAM-MAICh MSc alumni have obtained or are in the process of completing a PhD with a full scholarship at many universities around the world, while many of them are now faculty members at prestigious universities in their country and elsewhere, ”he said.

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Students taking courses at the university already hold relevant degrees and have a good command of the English language. Each year, the institute receives more than 500 applications and welcomes approximately 150 first and second year students to its campus. Our students come from over 18 different Mediterranean countries. Mr. Fakotakis said that students are undoubtedly affected by the environment and their surroundings during their studies. He said that the Chania region is particularly beautiful. “Chania is not only a beautiful city, but it is also a historical crossroads of many different cultures, the presence of which always emanates from its architecture and iconic monuments,” he said.

A master’s thesis prize, established in 1994, is awarded annually by the Organization’s Governing Board on the recommendation of its Advisory Board. In 2015, it was awarded to Tunisian student Emna Khanfir, and in 2018 to Tunisian student Mohamed Amine Hedoui, while in 2020 it was awarded to Lebanese student Ms. Elsa Chedid.

“Each year, CIHEAM MAICh co-organizes summer schools, which focus on vocational training related to various academic fields for European students. The MAICh International Conference Center, affiliated with the Institute, was created in 1990 and hosts very sophisticated and advanced conferences every year; it hosts seminars, symposia, meetings and presentations of academic interest, hosts, simultaneously or independently, exhibitions and poster sessions, ”he said.

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Founded in 1962, the school offers master’s programs with its headquarters in Paris and operates through four institutes based in Bari in Italy, Montpellier in France, Zaragoza in Spain and Chania in Greece.

Intergovernmental organization, the International Center for High Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) is a Mediterranean group made up of 13 member states (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey) .


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