UCA News - Issue 66
Michigan State University and University of Central Asia Sign Agreement for Long-Term Cooperation and Collaboration in Education, Research, and Outreach
A General Agreement for Cooperation was signed between Michigan State University (MSU) and University of Central Asia (UCA) on 28 October 2010 to engage in long-term cooperation for collaborative multidisciplinary research, educational, and outreach programmes.
The primary areas of focus include (1) Integrated Rural Development to improve agricultural productivity, food security, and livelihoods of rural communities; and (2) Environment and Natural Resource Management to enhance environmental quality and sustainable use, and management of natural resources that are important for mountain communities, including, water, land, biodiversity, forests, minerals, and other resources. In addition, MSU will contribute to building academic and administrative capacity building at UCA campuses in Tajikistan, Kyrgyz Republic, and Kazakhstan through sharing of information, experiences, and expertise related to institutional capacity building. In addition, MSU will provide support for technologies towards building an enabling environment for excellence in research, teaching, and outreach at UCA campuses.
The partnership was spearheaded by Dr Karim Maredia, Professor of Entomology and Director of MSU’s World Technology Access Program (WorldTAP), who has contributed significantly to the progress of international research, teaching, and outreach at Michigan State University. Dr Maredia oversees the USAID-funded Integrated Pest Management (IPM) project in Central Asia in collaboration with University of California, Davis and several Central Asian institutions. The project, funded for eight years, addresses the need for better natural pest-management controls in Central Asia, a region suffering from an overuse of pesticides and limited crop production and diversity.
Michigan State University is a major US public university, established over 150 years ago with global reach. As one of the original land grant universities, it was the first to provide a scientific agriculture programme. With more than 25 internationally focused centres, institutes, and offices, it has the highest number students participating in study abroad programmes and ranked fourth in the provision of Peace Corps Volunteers. It also is in the top ten universities attracting foreign students.
The signing of the Agreement by MSU Provost Kim Wilcox and UCA Director General Bohdan Krawchenko took place during a special event “Central Asia Day: Building Human Resources and Institutional Capacity for Sustainable Development of Central Asia” co-hosted by the two institutions at MSU’s International Center in East Lansing, Michigan.
Michigan State University and University of Central Asia co-host Central Asia Day at the MSU International Center in Michigan on October 28, 2010
Michigan State University and the University of Central Asia co-hosted Central Asia Day: “Building Human Resources and Institutional Capacity for Sustainable Development of Central Asia”. The event, which was a prelude to the eleventh Annual Central Eurasian Studies Society Conference being hosted by MSU 29-31 October 2010, was jointly organized by the Asian Studies Center and the Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at MSU. Central Asia Day was attended by over 60 people and featured scholars and development specialists from Michigan State University, the University of Central Asia, as well as other partner institutions in Central Asia. Three panels were organised on the educational and political context: natural resource management, climate change and environment, and food security.
Drs Krawchenko and Dhanani presented on the first panel on “Setting the Context for Institutional Capacity Building in Central Asia”. Dr Chad Dear, Social Sciences Research Coordinator at UCA, was a discussant on the panel on “Natural Resource Management, Climate Change and Environment”. The panel on “Building Sustainable Food Security in Central Asia” brought the MSU and Central Asian researchers working on the USAID-funded project headed by MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources on Integrated Pest Management and sustainable agriculture in Central Asia presented their work to date in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
The keynote speech was delivered by Dr Bohdan Krawchenko on “Kyrgyzstan 2010” and Dr Elmira Kochumkulova, a Research Fellow at UCA, performed traditional Kyrgyz music for the audience.