Water for Food

Partnership Brings IHE Students to Nebraska

Nineteen students from across the globe will arrive at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May to participate in the inaugural offering of a field methods course as part of a new international education partnership.

UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, based in Delft, Netherlands, and the University of Nebraska are partnering to combine the strong hydraulic engineering and international water management experience of IHE with the university’s strong crop and large-scale production system expertise.

“We will bring our expertise and combine it with their expertise and interactions across the world,” said Ed Harvey, a UNL faculty member who along with his wife, Carol Rogers, lived and worked in Delft on the project at IHE on behalf of the University of Nebraska’s Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute from October 2011 through March 2012.

This partnership strengthens UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education by bringing a large-scale, production agriculture component to its curriculum. Nebraska students and faculty will gain insights into the global water agenda.

IHE’s master’s and doctoral programs focus solely on water. IHE has strong programs in hydraulics, irrigation, engineering, movement, irrigation transfer. While UNL also has these areas of expertise, IHE’s experience with international partnerships and capacity building and its global connections will elevate the university’s efforts to be more international in scale and scope, he said.

“Having this available to our faculty will help them a great deal,” Harvey said.

A joint master’s program will start in October when the IHE school year begins.

The international partnership agreement between UNESCO-IHE and university’s Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute was signed during the 2011 Water for Food Conference in Lincoln, Neb. In addition to the joint master’s degree program, the agreement will include study abroad opportunities for Nebraska students, faculty exchanges and collaborative research projects on the use of water for agriculture.

Discussions began with UNESCO-IHE following the first Water for Food conference in 2009. It was agreed that Nebraska’s expertise in water and production agriculture and IHE’s experience in water management focused on developing nations provide the foundation for a strong partnership.

UNESCO-IHE is the world’s largest international postgraduate water education facility. Since 1957, it has provided post graduate education to more than 14,500 water professionals from more than 160 countries, the vast majority from the developing world.

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