Bumpers College, Division of Ag Mark 15-Year Academic and Research Pact With Ghent University

In 2018, students from Ghent University participating in the student exchange program with Bumpers College received experience in the Department of Food Science's Arkansas Food Innovation Center. U of A is hosting meetings with faculty and any students interested in learning about and participating in the program.

In 2018, students from Ghent University participating in the student exchange program with Bumpers College received experience in the Department of Food Science's Arkansas Food Innovation Center. U of A is hosting meetings with faculty and any students interested in learning about and participating in the program.

FAYETTEVILLE – The U of A's Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences is hosting four faculty members from Belgium's Ghent University on Thursday and Friday to celebrate an important milestone in the long and productive relationship between the two institutions.

This two-day meeting at the Don Tyson Center for Agricultural Sciences not only commemorates past achievements, including a long-running student exchange program and successful faculty collaboration, but  also looks forward to evaluating the current status and how the partners enhance the relationship. This involves developing new creative ventures to improve student experiences and research, and further strengthen ties between the  institutions. 

All U of A faculty and students are invited to attend the meeting. Registration is free and available online at bumperscollege.uark.edu/ghent.

This is a unique opportunity for students to learn about novel international study opportunities, and for faculty to network and develop research collaborations with leading Ghent researchers. There are also special topics sessons on "Barley to Beer," and beer and chocolate parings with tastings.

"Our collaboration with Ghent University has been very productive with close to $1M funding from the EU-US Atlantis Program Mobility Grant which allowed about 100 student exchanges, 50 joint-publications, 14 short courses, and several study abroad programs during the past 15 years," said Jeyam Subbiah, head of the Department of Food Science. "We are excited to celebrate our collaboration and explore future opportunities." 

From Bumpers College, students in the departments of agricultural economics and agribusiness; crop, soil and environmental sciences; food science; and horticulture, landscape and turf sciences have benefited from the relationship.

Roland Verhe, one of the most successful European academicians in developing international programs around the world, will describe his key role in initiating this institutional relationship for Ghent University before reviewing our current state and developing new opportunities with faculty and student input.

The event  includes a  student social at 4 p.m. on Thursday on the Hawkins Family Terrace (south end of the AFLS Building) to network with Ghent students studying in Bumpers College and to meet visiting faculty. Students also will learn about Ghent University study abroad and research opportunities for both undergraduates and graduates.

Study abroad opportunities include a range of options from a short two-week 'Sustainability Course' at Ghent coordinated through Bumpers College and U of A's College of  Engineering,  to semester-long experiences or longer as part of a dual-degree program or a 'stand-alone' research experience as part of an honors project, master's degree thesis or doctoral work.      

The relationship began around 2004 with the federally funded program for a dual-degree program in agricultural economics and bioresources student exchange program and short courses, which involved students and faculty across campus. These programs have continued despite conclusion of grants due to termination of the federal program. The meeting will focus on planning imaginative international programs for the coming years. 

About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences: Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates who will be leaders in the businesses associated with foods, family, the environment, agriculture, sustainability and human quality of life; and who will be first-choice candidates of employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs. The college is named for Dale Bumpers, former Arkansas governor and longtime U.S. senator who made the state prominent in national and international agriculture. For more information about Bumpers College, visit our website, and follow us on Twitter at @BumpersCollege and Instagram at BumpersCollege.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 3 percent of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Robby Edwards, director of communications
Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
479-575-4625, robbye@uark.edu


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