The Erasmus Mundus Master’s program in Plant Breeding is focused on crop improvement and the creation of new crop varieties. It provides training for students in the principles and techniques of genetically improving plants, incorporating new technologies based on the latest breakthroughs in molecular biology to help increase agricultural yield while reducing the impact of crop cultivation on the environment (by improving resistance to parasites and abiotic stresses).
The Master’s has been designed in partnership with industry professionals and four other European universities: the University of Helsinki, Universitat Politècnica de València, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Ege University (Turkey). So it combines the excellence of the best European universities with a strong field work dimension.
A collective project for the duration of the program
The second-year students on the Plant Breeding program, currently at Ghent University in Belgium, completed and presented their pilot project in March. They were given a topic related to the application or improvement of a given crop in a specific market context (for example the development of rice in a region in Argentina). This project, carried out by teams over a two-year period, is one of the highlights of the program, since it gives students the opportunity not just to develop a selection strategy but also to hone their skills in marketing, finance, communications, project management and teamwork.
The selection process for students for the 2018-2019 academic year – the first Erasmus Mundus year, funded by the European Union and known as emPLANT – took place in February. Out of 316 applicants, 19 students from 15 different countries received grants. The intake will be supplemented in April by self-funded students and will reach a total of around 30. The students will be divided between UniLaSalle and Uppsala University, Sweden, at the start of the next academic year.
Find out more at emPLANT website.
See also information about emPLANT in French.