Improving Agricultural Higher Education In Iran: Essentials And Goals Of Agricultural Bachelor Of Science Degree
The importance of the agricultural higher education system in human resources development as well as economic and agricultural development leads us to analyzing agricultural higher education issues and understanding required strategies for its improvements. On account of this, the system needs to be evaluated continuously in order to explore and provide appropriate models and approaches. This research has used a Delphi technique to investigate the Iranian agricultural higher education specialists' views on the essentials and goals of the Agricultural Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Degree in the Agricultural Higher Education of Iran. These views can provide required information for higher education policy makers to develop appropriate models and approaches for this course. The study included all these specialists and a panel of experts constituting the specialists was formed through a nomination technique. Then, two self-completed questionnaires were utilized to collect data from all the specialists. The first questionnaire mostly included the open questions. A test-retest method was used to evaluate the second questionnaire reliability and validity.
The specialists maintained that the main rationale for conducting the BSc course of agriculture in the Iranian higher education system is to produce agricultural experts or human resources with the updated and modern knowledge in order to utilize agricultural resources effectively. These graduates are also to be prepared to manage agricultural enterprises and to act as planning programmers and as practitioners of development projects to facilitate food security and sustainability. The view was that this course should mostly focus on educating the undergraduates to be able to recognize current agricultural situation and issues, as well as to apply agricultural sciences in agricultural and rural development in both national and local perspectives. The students should also learn how to link between the traditional and modern agricultural knowledge and practices. As potentially future extension agents, they also require to obtain the competency of communicating with farmers to improve agricultural productivity.
Index Terms— Agricultural Higher Education System, Delphi Technique, Bachelor of Science Degree, Goals, Competency, Human Resources