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Western Balkan Rural Extension Network through Curriculum Reform (WBREN)

Duration:  10 June, 2009 to  1 January, 2012
Project Description: 

Donor: European Commission (TEMPUS IV)

Partners: University of Reading (UK), University of Helsinki (Finland); Wageningen University (Netherlands); Czech University of Life Sciences; (Czech Rep.); State University of Tetovo (Macedonia); Goce Delcev University; (Macedonia); Agriculture University of Tirana (Albania); Fan S.

Noli University; (Albania); Singidunum University (Serbia); University of Novi Sad (Serbia); University of Banja Luka (BiH); University of Sarajevo (BiH); Federation of Farmers (Macedonia); Foundation Agro-Centre for Education (Macedonia); Moba “Farmers Association” (Serbia); Natura Balkanika (Serbia); Institute for Democracy and Mediation (Albania); Albanian Agro-Environmental Association (Albania); Agency for Cooperation, education, and Development (BiH); Center for Rural and Agricultural Development (BiH); Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group of South Eastern Europe (inter-governmental organization of Balkan countries).

The regional initiative “Western Balkan Rural Extension Network through Curriculum Reform” (WBREN) is a TEMPUS IV project that will address the deficiency and need for rural development curriculum reform in the Western Balkan region through the training, development, and implementation of rural development programs following two streams: formal and non-formal rural development education. IDM’s Local Governance and Integrated Development Department, as part of a multi-national consortium will provide expertise in rural development and coordinate the implementation of project’s activities in Albania.

The project relies on the understanding that rural development education reform is the key to providing relevant stakeholders, within and outside higher education institutions, the opportunity at building a framework for EU accession and meeting the goals of each country’s National Rural Development Strategies. By building these capacities, overall rural development goals can be better achieved, and progress in our rural communities can be realized.

Accordingly, in the course of the next three years the project will (1) develop and improve the competencies of non-formal education professionals, who will create and deliver non-formal, modular based trainings to stakeholders in agriculture and rural development; (2) introduce an interdisciplinary, ECTS compliant Certificate in Rural Development program at lead Western Balkan Higher Education Institutions; (3) Establish Center for Rural Extension at lead Western Balkan Higher Education Institutions which support CRD program and outreach activities; and (4) increase regional cooperation in rural development and agriculture extension / outreach through the creation of the Western Balkan Rural Extension Network.