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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 920: XXVIII International Horticultural Congress on Science and Horticulture for People (IHC2010): VI International Symposium on Horticultural Education, Research Training and Consultancy

BEYOND LECTURES AND EXERCISES - ESTABLISHING MENTORSHIP TO COMPLEMENT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF STUDENTS IN ASIAN HORTICULTURAL AND AGRICULTURAL STUDY PROGRAMMES

Authors:   B. Li, X.X. Li, S. Hofmann-Souki, A. Anhar, M.H. Nguyen Thi, B. Gebhardt
Keywords:   mentoring programmes, university-industry cooperation, curriculum developŽment, Asia, China, DOCUMAP
Abstract:
Within the joint Asian-European project DOCUMAP an integrated concept for multiple cooperation of three Asian universities with the horticultural and agricultural sector is being introduced in academic study programmes, in an effort to respond to demands on graduates seeking jobs in a rapidly changing horticultural and food sector in China, Indonesia and Vietnam. Establishing mentoring programmes at the Asian partner universities forms an integral part of this initiative. It aims at answering orientation needs of students that go beyond the learning of facts and theories through lectures and exercises. Along with the emergence of diversified horticultural and food industries a strong need of Asian students arises for concealing and feedback as they attempt to construct and follow their personal career paths. Formal mentoring programmes have been guiding such processes in many countries and across various disciplines and sectors, especially in developed countries. At uniŽversities in Indonesia, China and Vietnam, though, mentorship has not been a well-known concept so far and no formal student mentoring programmes are known to the authors. This article documents approaches, progress and difficulties experienced during establishment of mentoring programmes at the Asian partner universities. Based on stakeholder interviews before and after the first mentorship periods it is shown how the specific conditions at developing country universities within an Asian cultural setting shape the programme set-up, the recruitment of mentors from industry and the mentorship process. This is discussed with the relevant literature and experiences from Germany. Finally, some strategies and factors of success are suggested for the establishment of mentorship at Asian universities.
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