USU College of Agriculture, Leading Thai University Sign Collaboration Agreement
By Lynnette Harris |
Representatives of Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand, and Utah State University's College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences have signed an agreement to establish academic exchanges and research collaborations between the two institutions.
Professor Paul Johnson, head of USU's Department of Plants, Soils and Climate, spoke highly of the partnership. Johnson was a visiting faculty member at KU during his sabbatical several years ago.
“Kasetsart University has one of the most recognized agriculture colleges in that part of the world and easily the best and most significant one in Thailand,” Johnson said. “While agriculture is quite different in our respective parts of the world for many reasons, that diversity in views is helpful to students and faculty. It’s instructive to see different ways that we humans address similar challenges.”
During the KU delegates’ visit to USU’s Logan campus, they toured a USU greenhouse and laboratories, led by plant science Professor Bruce Bugbee, where they discussed medically important, lab-grown plants and NASA-sponsored research focused on growing food in controlled environments.
Later, the Thai delegation met with CAAS Associate Deans Greg Cuomo and Mateja Savoie Roskos, Utah Agricultural Experiment Station Associate Director Chris Davies, and Vice Provost for Global Engagement Janis Boettinger. The signing of the MOU marks a significant step forward in strengthening the academic and research ties between the two institutions.
USU Professor of climate science Simon Wang, director of iPACE — an international partnership in agriculture, climate and environmental sciences — has developed and manages USU partnerships with Asian universities.
"This historic visit signals the beginning of many exciting opportunities for USU,” Wang said. "Kasetsart means agriculture, and KU is the flagship university in Thailand from which their late King graduated."
Numerous Thai students have graduated from USU with advanced degrees, including Thailand's first climate science Ph.D., who now leads KU’s Department of Agronomy.
"Thai students from KU were among the best-performing students in my class," said Professor Scott Jones, a soil physicist at USU.
The signing of the MOU between KU and CAAS marks a significant step forward in strengthening the academic and research ties between the two institutions. This partnership will provide students and researchers from both universities with opportunities to collaborate and exchange knowledge, enhancing the quality of education and research in agriculture and related fields at both universities. KU actively builds international collaborations and many courses are taught in English, easing the way for USU students to experience study abroad opportunities in Thailand.
Founded in 1943, Kasetsart is Thailand’s largest university and, like USU, started as an agricultural college. It has four campuses, the largest of which is in an urban forest in Bangkok.
Thailand has a tropical climate and abundant natural resources and is well-suited to agriculture. It is a major producer of maize, rice, rubber, cassava and sugarcane. However, Thailand has already seen a rise in impacts from a warming world, experiencing increasingly unpredictable weather, with alternations of droughts and floods.
The MOU between KU and CAAS will provide students and researchers from both universities with the opportunity to collaborate and exchange knowledge, enhancing the quality of education and research in agriculture and related fields.
For more information about this partnership and other international initiatives at USU, please contact Simon Wang, iPACE director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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