Two decades of agroforestry training, education and research at Université Laval, Québec, Canadawca2014-1830 Damase Khasa 1,*Alain Olivier 2Alain R. Atangana 1Jean Bonneville 2Patrice Dion 1Centre for Forest Research and Institute for Systems and Integrative Biology, 2Plant Science, Université Laval, Québec, Canada
With a population of 48,000 students, 17 faculties and over 400 regular programs, Université Laval, the oldest centre of education in Canada (4th oldest in North America) is ranked 7th among the top 15 Canadian universities in terms of research funding. The graduate Master’s program in agroforestry at the Université Laval was launched in 1993 and the first batch of M.Sc. students graduated in 1995. This program offering a Master’s degree is unique in Canada and the only one French-language program available in the Americas, also known as the New World. Ex-post analysis of this program was conducted for looking at its efficiency. The analysis took into account different aspects including the curricula, the demographic profile of students and their origins as well as the socio-economic and biophysical research conducted by graduate students and academic staff. Results showed a well-balanced curriculum between theory and practice, the importance of international student population in the program with special emphasis on tropical agroforestry. More recently, however, local students and temperate agroforestry have shown a growing interest. The graduates of this program are recruited by the governmental and non-governmental agencies but also by new opportunities of private sector at the individual and organizational levels for green economy. While socio-economic dimensions have dominated research, there has been growing interest and recognition of biophysical research. This master’s degree program will be available online in 2014, allowing students and professionals from French-speaking countries to be trained from their home countries, with dual dregree arrangements.