FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE
Dear Vice-Chancellor, colleagues, students, President Students’ Union, Faculty Students’ Representative, dear Vikash,
I am very pleased, as Dean, to welcome you to the Faculty of Agriculture which will be your home for the next three years. My pleasure to extend a very warm welcome to our students from Rodrigues. Some 110 students are joining the Faculty for the first time, for a three-year degree programme. We thank you for your insight in choosing our Faculty for your university studies. We have four (4) programmes of studies, namely:
1. BSc (Hons) Agriscience and Technology
2. BSc (Hons) Agriculture (Specialisation: Land and Water Management)
3. BSc (Hons) Food Safety and Quality
4. BSc (Hons) Microbiology
Today it’s the 2nd of August 2011. It marks your entrance to university education. This date will be a memorable day for you (and for us), as you embark on your university studies at the University of Mauritius, in the Faculty of Agriculture.
Memorable for one fundamental reason: today is an opportunity for you to gain knowledge. Knowledge is a key and a highly valued resource, not only within Mauritius but also around the world. Knowledge is a key resource that is required to access and to create new jobs in your field of study. It will be our challenge, at the Faculty, to ensure that you acquire the knowledge, that you get educated and trained to be employed in the field of your choice, where you will be valued for your specialised knowledge, for your ability to carry out research, for your ability to communicate, to solve problems, to contribute to the economic development of our country.
Our Faculty, has for many years now, been dedicated to its mission to nurture graduates in the field of Agriculture and Food. We have a committed academic staff, supported by a dedicated technical and administrative support staff. We take pride in having contributed to training at tertiary level in the agriculture and food sectors in Mauritius and Rodrigues through provision of trained manpower. In 2014, which will mark the year of your graduation, our Faculty will celebrate a century of teaching and training in the agricultural and food sectors in Mauritius. I take this opportunity to thank each and every member of staff of our Faculty for their dedication and support to each and every student, for making the Faculty a great place to study. It is through their continued effort and commitment that the Faculty is achieving success, ensuring excellence in teaching and research, despite the constraints of our limited resources.
Over the years, the Faculty has strengthened collaborative partnerships with its key stakeholders: the food industry, government, and other research institutions (both locally and worldwide). These networks, together with the support of alumni, are critically important for our Faculty to ensure the ongoing relevance of our academic programmes and the continued excellence of our teaching, learning and research. It is equally important for us as a Faculty to keep close to the community.
However, dear students, we may have the most dedicated lecturers and the most supportive administrative and technical staff, none of it will make a difference unless you fulfil your responsibilities as students. We have been requested by the University Administration to focus on the issue of students’ discipline: the responsibility and respect each of you should have for discipline. It has been noted that there has been a decline, over the years, in the discipline and conduct of students of the University. We sincerely hope that each one of you, chooses today to take responsibility of your education: turning out on time for lectures and practical classes, as a sign of respect for your classmates, lecturers and technical staff; ensuring that there is an environment conducive to learning during lectures and practical classes; meeting all deadlines for the submission of assignments; handling safely all equipment used; ensuring good use of all Library books and other learning resources; not engaging in cheating and in plagiarism; asking questions; asking for help when needed; addressing respectfully all staff of the Faculty and of the University. We expect and we trust that we will have your collaboration.
Dear students, I can assure you that our Faculty is doing everything we can to make sure that you have the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for employment. We are sparing no effort to get updated equipment, textbooks and other learning resources and to ensure the provision of a safe working environment. We expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. Today, you have the opportunity to acquire knowledge. It will be your responsibility to do so. What you make of the education received at the Faculty will decide nothing less than the future of our country: the food industry requires expertise in food quality and safety, in microbiology; we have to move towards the adoption of modern technologies in agriculture; the sustainable use of land and water resources is a priority. You will need the knowledge; the critical thinking skills; the problem-solving skills to meet the challenges ahead, to make a difference on the job market.
I wish, to conclude, to thank all members of staff who have spared no effort to make the Induction Session a successful event. I thank all staff for taking their valuable time and for their presence today. I wish to thank in particular: Dr Mala Sanmukhiya and Mr Kamlesh Boodhoo (Heads of Department); Dr Sunita Facknath (Representative of the Faculty on the Induction Committee); Tina (our Administrative Officer); Premchand (our SEA); Shane (Academic responsible for the Farm) and all staff of the UoM Farm for providing the decorative plants; members of CITS for their support; the Library.
My warmest thanks to all Year 1 Programme Coordinators, who will be the first ambassadors of the Faculty, they will be interacting with students of their respective programmes: Roshini (replacing Dr Arvind Ruggoo for Agriscience and Technology); Shalini (for Agriculture – specialisation Land and Water Management); Esha (for Food safety and Quality); Daya (for Microbiology). Our warmest thanks to all of you.
Dear students, on behalf of all staff of the Faculty, I wish you a rich and enjoyable learning experience!
ASSOC PROF FRANÇOISE DRIVER
DEAN OF FACULTY