ICA-Edu Committee of the ICA Board

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ICA Network for Innovation in Life Sciences Higher Education

This Network was formally the European Conference of Higher Agricultural Education (ECAHE).  ECHAE established a successful series of biennial conferences, which were initiated by Wageningen Agricultural University in 1992.  ECHAE became a standing committee of ICA in 2001.  ICA-Edu was formally launched at the ICA Week of Conferences 2012 in Bozen-Bolzano. 

ICA-Edu aims to provide the opportunity to discuss, evaluate and deliver innovative approaches in higher education biosciences provided by the Life Sciences Universities in support of the European and global agenda for the circular bioeconomy (agriculture, forestry food, biobased economy), sustainable use of natural resources, biodiversity, rural development and the environment

The overall aims are to:

  • Objective 1: develop and maintain an active network to support cooperation between innovators in higher education in ICA member institutions
  • Objective 2: contribute to the European and global agenda for a circular bioeconomy and the SDGs through the enhancement of the higher education curriculum
  • Objective 3: share experiences and outcomes from the best current national and international practice and projects to improve the overall quality and relevance of the teaching and learning process
  • Objective 4: define the need, frame the scope for and deliver staff development initiatives to support the enhancement of the delivery of higher education in the Life Science Universities

ICA-Edu became a Committee of the ICA Board in 2017.  ICA-Edu is led by an international executive committee.  The relationship between the ICA-Edu Board Committee and the ICA Board is defined by the Terms of Reference.  The Chair of ICA-Edu Board Committee is a co-opted member of the ICA Board.

A Special Interest Group (SIG) has been established by the ICA Board as a group within the ICA Network for Innovation in Life Science Higher Education (ICA-Edu).  The SIG has been set up to focus on the development of Sustainable Entrepreneurship Education in the Life Sciences

The ICA-Edu Colloquia, Worshops and Webinars aim to provide the opportunity to discuss innovative approaches in higher education in the sciences of agriculture, food, natural resources, rural development and the environment. The ICA-Edu activities are interdisciplinary. Contributions are encouraged from a wide range of relevant professionals and countries to add to those of the keynote speakers. The target audience includes academics, researchers, policy makers, extension workers and practitioners in agriculture industry and rural development.

ICA-Edu participated in the INTRINSIC Project Innovative Education for Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Life Sciences. INTRINSIC aimed to empower Life Science Universities to develop their students' Sustainable Entrepreneurship Competencies so as to prepare their graduates to be being effective entrepreneurs and leaders to address the challenges of Europe's future sustainable prosperity. The INTRINSIC three year project started on 1 September 2018 and ran to 30 November 2021.

List of past Conferences, Colloquia and Webinars

Webinar No 5: A One Health module: history and evolution at the University College Dublin held 7 December 2023

Webinar No 4: Extracurricular activities and their importance in the academic environment: the EFSET example held on 22 June 2023

Webinar No 3: AI can do your students' written assignments, so what now for assessments? held on 3 May 2023

ICA-Edu Online Workshop: The student engagement challenge held on 27 April 2023

Webinar No 2: Engaging students in extra-curricular activities held 23 February 2033

Webinar No 1: Using granular data sets to improve student retention, progression and outcomes and to address awarding gaps  held 17 January 2023

6th ICA Edu Colloquium Exploring the opportunities and challenges of mainstreaming blended learning in Life Sciences Higher Education was held on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 May 2022 at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, University of Ghent, Belgium.  See the Summary

5th ICA-Edu Colloquium Action to keep the entrepreneurial genie out of the bottle! Engaging students with sustainable entrepreneurial education in your curriculum was held online because of Covid-19 virus during the mornings of 26 to 28 May 2021.  See the programme and presentations.  See the Summary

4th ICA-Edu Colloquium: Let the entrepreneurial genie out of the bottle! how will we stimulate the nascent entrepreneurial skills of our students? was held on 15 and 16 May 2019 in Leuven, Belgium. See the Programme and Presentations.  See the summary

3rd ICA-Edu Colloquium: Delivering graduates to meet the challenges of the sustainable development goals (SDGs): embedding the development of ethical and sustainable values in the curriculum held at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Croatia on 13 & 14 June, 2017

2nd ICA-Edu Colloquium: e-learning in the life sciences: exploiting open source materials in the curriculum held at the University of Helsinki, Finland on 16-17 June 2016

1st ICA-Edu Colloquium: Educating Life Science Graduates Fit for Europe held at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) April 14-16, 2015

Educating  the Net Generation in the Life Sciences, held at the Free University of Bozen - Bolzano, Italy,  2012

Bologna Declaration 10 years on – Promising and delivering quality in Life Science education across Europe, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Croatia, 2010.

Developing roadmaps for European Life Science degrees: Competences, Quality, Employability.- University of Lleida, Spain. 2008.

The Public and the Agriculture and Food Industries: The role of higher education in questioning assumptions and matching expectations. – Czech University of Agriculture in Prague, Czech Republic, 2006 .

Rethinking higher education in the food chain and environment – Profiling graduates of the future. – The Royal Veterinary & Agricultural University (KVL), Copenhagen, Denmark, 2004.

Harmonization in European Higher Agricultural Education: Dream or Nightmare? – Technological Education Institute of Crete, Heraklion, Greece, 2002.

From Production Agriculture to Rural Development: Challenges for Higher Agricultural Education in the New Millennium. - Seale-Hayne Faculty of the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom, 2000.

Society’s Expectations of European Agriculture: the Catalytic Rôle of Agricultural Education. - Timiryazev Agricultural Academy, Moscow, Russia, 1998.

Biodiversity, an issue in Higher Education. - Agropolis, Montpellier, France, 1996.

Managing Change in the Food Chain and Environment: the Role of Higher Agricultural Education. - Gödöllö University of Agricultural Sciences, Hungary, 1994.

Changes in Agriculture and Environment: a Challenge for Higher Education. - Wageningen Agricultural University, Netherlands, 1992 .

More information:

Professor Julian Park

Chair ICA-Edu Executive Committee

Professor of Agricultural Systems
The University of Reading
Reading, RG6 6AR
United Kingdom

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact for more details: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., ICA Deputy Secretary General