30.9. Reforming forestry education: local and global challenges


Public examination of a doctoral dissertation in the field of forest sciences

Doctoral candidate: M.Sc. Javier Arevalo 

Date and venue: 30.9.2011 at 12 noon, AT100, Agora, Joensuu campus 

The knowledge, abilities and attitudes required from forestry professionals have rapidly evolved. People, organisations and markets have new demands about the governance and services provided by forests, and their socio-economical, ecological and environmental functions. The doctoral thesis of Javier Arevalo at the University of Eastern Finland focuses on forestry education by analysing the issues of student motivation, competencies, curricula, and job market. The study is based on the perceptions of students, universities, and employers from Europe, China, and Brazil. 

Results show many common features of forestry students across countries, being most interested in learning about environmental protection and climate change, in participating in field studies, and in a career in the management of public forests. Dissatisfaction with various aspects of the studies was detected, with the importance that students gave to achieving their best dropping over the study years. In Europe, universities and employers reported important gaps between the needs of the job market and the education provided at the universities. These gaps were especially important in the areas of environmental services, carbon sequestration, and in the ability to communicate. 

Based on these and other findings, improvements in current university forestry education are suggested. These improvements should help reverse the decline in student enrolment numbers. 

The doctoral dissertation of Javier Arevalo entitled “International perceptions of university forestry education – an analysis of student motivation, competencies, and curricula” will be examined at the Faculty of Science and Forestry. The opponent in the public examination is Professor Davide Pettenellla, University of Padova and the custos is Professor Paavo Pelkonen of the University of Eastern Finland.

Photo available for download at http://www.uef.fi/vaitoskuvat

Contact: Javier Arevalo, +358 (0) 44 256 4273, javier.arevalo@uef.fi

Publishing year: 2011

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