ANALYSIS OF DIVERSIFICATION EFFORTS IN AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION

Authors

  • Petr Procházka Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
  • Luboš Smutka Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
  • Michal Steininger Czech University of Life Sciences Prague

Keywords:

Agricultural education, choice of major, socioeconomic factors, Canada, Czech Republic

Abstract

Study of agriculture enjoys less popularity over time in most of the developed countries, including Canada and the Czech Republic. Analysis in this paper provides interesting findings about activities of agricultural universities to increase enrollment into their programs. While the study is focused on Canada, it is possible to draw implications also for the Czech Republic as many of the characteristics pertaining to the education and agricultural sectors are similar. Enrollment into educational programs in agriculture in North America has been steadily declining in the last several decades. While the overall share of agriculture on national gross domestic product has also been falling, the need for qualified people in agriculture is still eminent as the shift to sustainable agriculture appears to be one of the key priorities of governments in the US and Canada. One of the ways how to facilitate interest of prospective students to study agriculture is to diversify the programs through offering of more major options. It is important to study the motivation and other stimuli for the choice of major in order to adapt the educational programs and attract more students. In the paper, factors influencing the choice of major are studied by analyzing survey data from the only agricultural college in Atlantic Canada. The results show significant differences in the socio-economic background among the prospective students based on the choice of major. For example, students interested in social sciences much more appraise more choices of major than students in biophysical fields. Based on the findings from the analysis, several recommendations are made. It is suggested, for example, that for students interested in biophysical sciences, sport plays an important role and thus, appropriate promotional campaign about recreation and sport facilities of a post-secondary agricultural educational institutions should be conducted. Analysis in this paper may serve many educational institutions in agriculture as a guide how to deal with existing or potential decline in enrollment by diversifying their major portfolio using appropriate promotional campaigns.

References

Blank S.C. (1998) ‘A Decade of Decline and Evolution in Agricultural Economics Enrolments and Programs, 1985-96’, Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 20, pp. 155-167.

Bratti, M. (2001) ‘Does the choice of university matter? A study of the differences across UK universities in life sciences students' degree performance’, Warwick economic research papers. Department of economics. Warwick, UK.

Cebula, R.J., Lopes J. (1982) ‘Determinants of Student Choice of Undergraduate Major Field’, American Educational Research Journal, vol. 19, pp. 303-312.

Czech Statistical Office (CZSO) (2010) Studenti a absolventi vysokých škol v ČR celkem [online], Available: http://www.czso.cz/csu/redakce.nsf/i/studenti_a_absolventi_ vysokych_skol _v_cr_celkem [3 Mar 2011].

Esters, L.T. (2005) Factors Influencing the College Choice of Urban Agricultural Education Students, AAAE [online], Available: http://aaae.okstate.edu/proceedings/2005/Articles /061.pdf [2 Mar 2011].

FAO (2011), FAOSTAT Database [online], Available: http://faostat.fao.org/default.aspx [6 Apr 2011].

Gebreselassie, S., (2006) Intensification of Smallholder Agriculture in Ethiopia: Options and Scenarios [online], Paper prepared for the Future Agricultures Consortium Meeting at the Institute of Development Studies 20-22 March 2006, Available: http://www.future-agricultures.org/pdf%20files/SG_paper_3.pdf [5 Mar 2011].

Huffman, W.E., (2001) Human capital: Education and agriculture, Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Volume 1.

Kehm, B.M., (2006) Doctoral education in Europe and North America: a comparative analysis [online], Available at: http://www.portlandpress.com/pp/books/online/fyos/083/0067/08300 67.pdf [2 Mar 2011].

Národní rada poradenství pro zemědělství a rozvoj venkova (NRPPZARV) (2011) Dokument č. 1 - č.j.: 9882/2009-10000, [online], Available: http://www.agroporadenstvi.cz/attachments/ Statut_a_JR_Rady_.pdf [5 Apr 2011].

Russell, E.B. (1993) ‘Attracting youth to agriculture’, Journal of extension, vol. 31, no. 4.

Sargent, M. (1994) The New Sociology for Australians, Third Edition, Longman Chesire, Melbourne.

Simpson, J.C. (2001) ‘Segregated by Subject: Racial Differences in the Factors Influencing Academic Major between European Americans, Asian Americans, and African, Hispanic, and Native Americans’, The Journal of Higher Education, vol. 72, pp. 63-100.

Slavik, M. (2004) ‘Changes and trends in secondary agricultural education in the Czech Republic’, International Journal of Educational Development, vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 539-545. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0738-0593(03)00041-5.

Spiertz, J.H.J., Kropff, M.J. (2011) ‘Adaptation of knowledge systems to changes in agriculture and society: The case of the Netherlands’, NJAS-Wageningen journal of life sciences, vol. 58, no. 1-2, pp. 1-10.   http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.njas.2011.03.002.

Statistics Canada (2011) Education statistics [online], Available at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-516-x/sectionw/4147445-eng.htm [3 Mar 2011].

Tamini, L.D. (2011) ‘A nonparametric analysis of the impact of agri-environmental advisory activities on best management practice adoption: A case study of Quebec’, Ecological economics,  vol. 70, no. 7, pp. 1363-1374. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.02.012.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports CR (MEYS) (2011) Pravda a mýty v Bílé knize [online], Available: http://www.msmt.cz/bila-kniha/ohlasy-v-tisku-pravda-a-myty-v-bile-knize [4 Apr 2011].

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports CR (MEYS) (2011) Vysoké školství čeká zásadní reforma [online], Available: http://www.msmt.cz/bila-kniha/ohlasy-v-tisku-vysoke-skolstvi-ceka-zasadni-reforma [27 Apr 2011].

Turner, S.E., Bowen W.G. (1999) ‘Choice of Major: The Changing (Unchanging) Gender Gap’, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 289-313.

Uberoi L. (2007) Personal communication, Nova Scotia Agricultural College.

United Nations (UN) (2010) Education [online], Available: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/ education/ [2 Feb 2011].

Wildman, M.L., Torres R.M. (2002) Factors influencing choice of major in agriculture. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Journal.

World Bank (WB) (2011) WDI database [online], Available: http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/world-development-indicators [5 May 2011].

Additional Files

Published

2011-09-30

How to Cite

Procházka, P., Smutka, L. and Steininger, M. (2011) ’ANALYSIS OF DIVERSIFICATION EFFORTS IN AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION’, Journal on Efficiency and Responsibility in Education and Science, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 116-128 Retrieved from https://www.eriesjournal.com/index.php/eries/article/view/39.

Issue

Section

Research Paper