Faculty of Agriculture

Messages from FoA

Dean
Assoc Prof D PUCHOOA
Assoc Prof D PUCHOOADean of Faculty

The Faculty of Agriculture, originally founded as the School of Agriculture in 1914, plays a pivotal role in education, training, research and development in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, crop technology, forestry, aquaculture, biotechnology, food science/ technology and allied fields in the country. The Faculty is dedicated to advancing development in these aforementioned areas through promotion of staff expertise, improved teaching methodologies, enhancement of research opportunities and facilities and outreach and extension programs. Overall, the faculty seeks to build capacity of students and scientists, equip them with the technical knowledge and practical skills as well as impart the right attitudes in students to promote sustainable development in the agriculture, food and allied sectors whilst contributing to address several of the SDGs including SDG-2 (Zero Hunger), SDG-8 (Decent work and economic growth), SDG-10 (Reduced Inequalities) amongst others.

In addition, the Faculty provides short, tailor-made training courses for specific stakeholders as well as a range of undergraduate and post-graduate programs of studies towards human capacity development, re-skilling of the workforce and promotion of science, technology and innovation in the country. In addition, the programmes also lay emphasis on various elements such as entrepreneurship, leadership, and innovation, the key areas of modern day interest - as well as the inculcation of soft skills. For the academic year 2023/2024, the Faculty is offering several programmes – BSc (Hons) Microbiology with 6- months internship, BSc (Hons) Food Science & Technology with 6-months internship, BSc (Hons) Agricultural Science & Technology with 6-months internship and BSc Food Hygiene & Environmental Health – a top-up program. These programs aspire to convert our students’ educational experience through multidisciplinary and experiential learning that have real world relevance.

The Faculty also strives to link disciplines, connect discovery and learning, build partnerships and reach out to communities. We ensure the high standard and quality of our degrees through a system of moderation by External Examiners from Universities in UK, Australia, India, South Africa and Malaysia among others. All our programs include an element of industrial placement where a student undertakes a period of training with an organisation and prepares the student for a professional career. From the hands-on training, the student learns about the skill set required as well as the exigencies of the world of work and work ethics. The industry exposure is also a great opportunity to engage in the profession in which they aspire to grow, to appreciate and understand the practical application of their academic program, to work with professional mentors and to begin to build networks within their profession.

The Faculty has always been proud of its students, many of whom today are in key positions in Government, parastatal bodies, private sector, and even in regional and international agencies. The friendships nourished during their special time as students of the Faculty of Agriculture create a life-long sense of belonging amongst our alumni, who continue to contribute in numerous ways to their beloved alma mater. We encourage all our students to develop their individuality, their critical analytical and creative thinking abilities.

We urge all new students to familiarize themselves with the University rules and regulations available from the University website and from your very own Students Union. Students are requested to pay particular attention to regulations relating to students’ conduct and discipline, academic misconduct such as plagiarism as well paying attention to important deadlines for module enrollment, among others. As you may know, we are living in an era of artificial intelligence (AI), where technology is transforming every aspect of our lives, including education. AI can be a powerful tool to enhance your learning experience, but it can also be a source of temptation and plagiarism. We want you to use AI responsibly and ethically, not to copy and paste answers to assignments. Remember, the purpose of education is not to get good grades, but to develop your skills and knowledge so that you can become a productive and responsible member of the workforce. AI can help you with that, but it cannot replace your own effort and creativity. We encourage you to explore the various opportunities that AI offers for learning and research. You need to use AI responsibly and ethically, and not resort to plagiarism or cheating. Students are also advised to develop the habit of reading notice boards and checking emails regularly. We are increasingly using a blended mode of Teaching & Learning including use of web platforms for our teaching, assessment and communication thereby ensuring swift exchange of information.

You have much more freedom than before, but with freedom comes responsibility. Learn to manage your time, your work and your resources, so that you can live your campus life to the fullest, with a good balance of studies, extra-curricular activities, interactions with your peers and University staff, and your social life.

We wish you a rewarding and highly memorable time at the University of Mauritius.