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Student exchange scheme aims to beat food students’ isolation after Brexit – University of Reading

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Student exchange scheme aims to beat food students’ isolation after Brexit

Release Date 21 October 2019

Sheep farming


Students interested in sustainable development and food will benefit from a new programme that links the University of Reading with European institutions.

The new European Food Systems Education and Training (EFSET) provides students a free-to-access link between Reading and the Universities of Turin and Hohenheim. Each year, the programme will give students based at the three participating Universities opportunities to learn from and work with peers on challenges facing the sector including climate change, food waste and healthy eating.

Dr Harley Pope, the University of Reading said:

“We know that the global food system faces massive challenges including the threat of climate change. We also know the impact of political changes that are isolating UK institutions from the European fraternity and their abilities to collaborate more widely.

“EFSET is a critical way for us to continue to partner with European institutions to tackle the increasing challenges that food systems in the UK and Europe face. We are very much looking forward to working with leading institutions in Italy and Germany on this programme.

“At the University of Reading, we have a strong academic track record on the whole of the food system, from farm to fork. With strengths in agriculture, climate science and food sciences, we can bridge the gaps between different disciplines to ensure that the UK and European food industry is better equipped for the future.”

Dimitrios Paraforos, of the University of Hohenheim, said:

“EFSET provides a unique opportunity to link our universities up towards exploring pragmatic solutions on future food systems challenges. We are very much looking forward to welcoming to Hohenheim students and colleagues from the University of Reading and the University of Turin. Let the journey begin!”

A particular highlight of the programme is its support for pan-Europe student mobility. In March 2020 it will provide University of Reading students with the opportunity to travel to Turin to meet their Italian peers and participate in an EFSET weekend workshop on innovating in the food system.  

Luca Cololin, of the University of Turin, said:

“Increasing international collaboration, increasing the numbers of international students, and fostering interaction with European and non-European Universities is key factor for the University of Turin.”

EFSET builds upon the approach of IFSTAL (Interdisciplinary Food Systems Teaching and Learning programme), an extensively tested food systems training programme in the United Kingdom with four years of experience and over 1,500 participants. The new programme is funded by EIT Food and supported by the EIT, a body of the European Union.


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