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Study visit at the Linneus University (Vaxjo, Sweden)

Nowadays, there is a growing urgency to train the competent specialists-professionals for the agricultural sector. The implementation of the AgroDev project "Improving Higher Education Content in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to Support Sustained Quality Agricultural Production" aims to the modernising curricula related to the development of the agro-industry. In this regard, in the framework of AgroDev project, a training seminar was organised at Linneus University (LNU, Sweden) from 06 to 12 June 2022. The seminar was attended by 6 teachers from 4 partner universities in Central Asia: Naryn State University named after S. Naamatov, Kyrgyz National Agrarian University named after K. I. Skryabin, Tashkent State Agrarian University and Samarkand branch of Tashkent State Economic University. The main objectives of the seminar were: 1. Revealing and discussing the issues arising in reforming pedagogy in the university environment, such as: - Formal and informal support systems - Human, financial and social capital - Technical and institutional barriers 2. Examining the pedagogical reform and approaches of the University LNU and comparing them with the pedagogical approaches in each of the partner university. Methods of the seminar: 1. The training took place as part of a set of experimental training activities at LNU Växjö and Kalmar 2.Conducted interviews with LNU staff and students to understand what practical ways pedagogical reform is supported. 3.Conducted a SWOT analysis on the results concerning pedagogical reform processes in LNU and in each of the partner university. The results of seminar: The five-day international seminar discussed best practices in pedagogical reform and the management of international partnerships in higher education. On the first day of the seminar, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Linnaeus University, Daniel Alvuner gaves a welcome speech. Professors Chris Haik and Heiko Fritz introduced the programme of the seminar and gave a tour of the university. LNU was founded in 2010 after merging Växjö University and Kalmar College. Today the university offers more than 200 study programmes and 1,500 courses in selected subjects. Frederik Lindblad, head of the Videum Science Park, spoke about the innovation lab, the application of VR and AR at all levels, working with digital media and the priority areas of academic business research, such as the circular economy, the smart city, forest and timber, and digitalisation. Charlotte Scotland from the Department of External Relations introduced Linnaeus University's policy on developing international cooperation. The participants of the seminar learned a lot about the Department of Social Sciences, the Department of Technology and the Department of Life Sciences. On the second day the participants of the seminar visited the agricultural machinery companies «Lantmanen» and saw the forestry work organization «VIDA» and «Lidsboholms gard». Afterwards the participants had the interviews with professors, students and teachers on pedagogical reform processes at LNU. On the third day the participants visited LNU branch in Kalmar, where interviews with professors and students were continued and analysis was made on the answers of the respondents. Professor Cornelia Withoft, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research at LNU gave an interesting lecture on food science research to the participants. On the fourth day the participants of the seminar presented their presentations on a comparative analysis of the education system between their own universities and LNU. Participants stressed the need to use modern educational technologies and teaching methods and the importance of the role of teacher and student in the learning process. The introduction of active learning methods in the educational process has a positive effect on the training of highly qualified specialists, where students not only receive certain knowledge, but must be able to apply it in a concrete practical situation. During visiting the library, Director Katta Torhel introduced to participants the modern working conditions and the unique library stock. Director of the STINT, Hans Rohl and Director of the SIANI, Madeleine Foge introduced to the participants the development of close cooperation between higher education and business in agriculture in Sweden and the sources of funding for their activities. The programme of the seminar was quite rich, the participants learned a lot about the important processes of pedagogical reform and learnt the interesting things about the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Technology and the Faculty of Life Sciences. At the end of the international seminar, certificates were awarded to the participants.