AARM-AIT - The lead institution

    AARM’s leadership role in the Project is in recognition of its comprehensive experience over 20 years of work in tropical
    aquaculture in Asia, as well as its existing close links with the Asian national partner institutions as well as some western
    Universities. It has been the ongoing work with these partners, which has led to the identification of the specific needs
    addressed in this proposal

    AIT’s role as an independent regional university and its close relationship with the national partners may compromise to some
    extent its objectivity in review of the course materials. At the present time, AIT has no formal framework of external review
    of its academic programs. The presence of the European partners in the Project with their established review systems will
    ensure quality control.

    The Project aims at supporting the development of the Master’s degree level curricula at national institutions. For this reason
    it will be the Asian national faculty who will be teaching and supervising those courses at their respective national institutions
    who will be engaged mainly in the actual development of the courses and materials. This will ensure ownership and relevance.

    Partners of this project:

    University of Stirling, UK
    University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
    Tribhuvan University, IAAS, Rampur, Nepal
    Research Institute for Aquaculture No. 1 - Hanoi, Vietnam
    University of Agriculture and Forestry, HCM City, Vietnam
    Royal University of Agriculture, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

    The two European institutions will provide resource persons for all project activities who will guide the Project with respect
    to knowledge and information resources and ensure that the quality of the course contents and materials is of an acceptable
    international standard.

    The Asian partners will be centrally involved in the development of the course materials and case studies, both in English and
    national languages. They will also ensure the approval and integration of the new curriculum into national curricula.  It is
    expected that the more established universities or the faculty members for the particular courses/subject matters will assist
    those newly entering Master’s degree level education in the development of the materials.

    The European partners will provide guidance based on their regional and international experiences. They will also serve as
    mentors to a relevant individual or a group of faculty during the meeting, workshops, and through email when they are back
    in their respective institutions. During the workshops all European partners will travel to AIT and engage in providing
    guidance on development overall curriculum, preparation of lecture notes, teaching/illustrative materials and developing self
    and student evaluation materials. The experts from European partners and AIT will also serve as leaders in theme group/s.
    For example, Dr. David Little from Stirling University may lead a group on seed production and genetics specialization. After
    the curriculum has been agreed upon it will be tested in their respective institutions. European and AIT mentors will
    communicate with the Asian partners and provide or advise on references and teaching materials through email and other
    means of communications.

    The European partners included in the proposal have been selected because of their specific experience in tropical
    aquaculture and aquatic environmental science, which are complementary.  The Institute of Aquaculture, University of
    Stirling has been involved in graduate-level training and education in aquaculture for more than 25 years. Alumni work in
    countries throughout the tropics in developmental, commercial and educational roles. The Institute has demonstrated capacity
    to field and support research and development initiatives in partnership with other institutions across a wide range of aquatic
    issues. Several research groups within the Institute have had coordinating roles in developing current and past initiatives (e.g.
    livelihoods and development, aquaculture nutrition, disease control, environmental management and genetics) between
    European and Asian partners. The University of Stirling has the enviable reputation as the best run University in Scotland and
    has been ranked first for widening access to education, teaching and research standards in the Times Higher Education
    Supplement’s Access Elite table.

    The Department of Biology, University of Aveiro has broad interdisciplinary teaching expertise running Master’s degrees in
    ‘Coastal Zone Sciences’, ‘Molecular Microbiology’, ‘Toxicology’ and ‘Biology & Geosciences’. Key personnel have specific
    experience in ecological risk assessment, environmental toxicity modelling, aquatic and soil toxicology and advanced
    statistical data analysis. The have broad collaborative research and advisory activities in South and Southeast Asia, Central
    and South America, including several EC funded projects. In addition to supervising post-doctoral, PhD and Master’s degree
    level research they are associated with the Centre for Environment and Marine Studies a Research Unit of the university. The
    Research Units at Aveiro are organized into priority interdisciplinary areas under the Research Institute. This offers the
    university an opportunity to participate actively in scientific research at international level. It also facilitates the involvement in
    European research programs, creating additional funding opportunities from both national and international sources. The
    Research Institute of the University is engaged in the gathering and dissemination of information about national and
    international programs and organizations which support and fund scientific research at several levels. The University has
    already participated in a European funded project through the “Leonardo da Vinci” programme where educational materials
    concerning aquaculture methods and techniques were used in undergraduate teaching and training of technical personnel
    involved in aquaculture practices (handbook and support CD-ROM materials). Some of the Asian training needs and
    practices have also been addressed in a different way in another project (MAMAS - Managing agrochemicals in multi-use
    aquatic systems). Moreover, the graduation and post-graduation Curricula in the University of Aveiro have undergone a
    serious restructuring to conform with present educational needs. Experience gained during that process will also be highly
    relevant for the present project.