Faculty of Agriculture - Dean's Message
Welcome to the Faculty of Agriculture (FoA). You are now a full-fledged member of the FoA family, and are going to be part of the illustrious and long history of the Faculty, spanning a period of over 100 years!
The Faculty of Agriculture, originally founded as the School of Agriculture in 1914, plays a vital role in the development of agriculture, horticulture, crop technology, forestry, aquaculture, biotechnology, food science/ technology and allied fields in the country. The Faculty is dedicated to advancing agricultural development through promotion of staff talent, improved teaching and enhancement of research and outreach facilities. The goal of the faculty is to develop intellectual capacity of students and scientists, and equip them with the knowledge, practical skills and attitudes to positively influence sustainable agricultural development, nature conservation and judicious utilization of environmental resources.
The Faculty provides short, tailor-made training courses for specific stakeholders to a range of undergraduate and post-graduate programmes of studies towards human capacity development and agricultural technology generation in the country. In addition, the programmes include elements of entrepreneurship, leadership, and innovation, the key areas of modern day interest. The faculty is equipped with experienced academic and technical staff, attractive curriculum, laboratory facilities, research facilities and an experimental farm among others. The University of Mauritius is in the process of setting-up the AgriTECH Park and the Faculty of Agriculture will be expected to play a major part of this innovative project. We are committed to convert our students’ educational experience through multidisciplinary and experimental learning that have real world applications.
The Faculty strives to link disciplines, connect discovery and learning, build partnerships and reach out to communities. We ensure the high standard and quality of our degrees through a system of moderation by External Examiners from Universities in UK, Australia, India, South Africa and Malaysia among others. All our programmes include an element of industrial placement where a student undertakes a period of training with an organisation and prepares the student for a professional career. From the hands-on training, the student learns about the skill sets required, demands of the industry and also work ethics. The industry exposure is an opportunity to engage with the profession to which they aspire in a realistic work environment; appreciate and understand the practical application of their academic programme; work with professional mentors and to begin to build networks within their profession.
The Faculty has always been proud of its students, many of whom today are in key positions in Government, parastatal bodies, private sector, and even in regional and international agencies. The friendships nourished during their special time as students of the Faculty of Agriculture create a life-long sense of belonging amongst our alumni, who continue to contribute in numerous ways to their beloved alma mater. We encourage all our students to develop their individuality, their critical analytical and creative thinking abilities.
I urge all new students to familiarize themselves with the University rules and regulations available from the University website and from your very own Students Union. Pay particular attention to those relating to students’ conduct and discipline, plagiarism, module enrollment, among others. Develop the habit of reading notice boards and checking your emails regularly. This academic year all lectures will be held online. In fact we are increasingly using web platforms for our teaching, assessment and communication. Be more interactive during the classes and tutorials. You have much more freedom than before, but with freedom comes responsibility. Learn to manage your time, your work and your resources, so that you can live your University life to the full, with a good balance of studies, extra-curricular activities, interactions with your peers and University staff, and your social life.
As has no doubt happened in your lives, the pandemic of COVID-19 has disrupted the Faculty in ways we could not have foreseen. Although some of your plans may have been dampened by the current crisis, I have no doubt that many of you will find new ways to adapt, innovate, achieve, and overcome! Take care of yourselves and those around you by continuing to be good citizens of public health.
I wish you a rewarding and highly memorable time at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mauritius.
Assoc Prof D Puchooa
Dean of Faculty