Acronyms 3 Mission Context and Background 5

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8.3 Opportunities


Appeal factors for academic cooperation (Unique Selling Proposition) (co-funding etc.)

Developing new academic cooperation links with international institutions is essential for the development of the UMCC, the internationalisation of the university is considered among the strategic components of the institutional strategic policy.


Opportunities for development relevant research and societal impact

Considering the priorities defined by the Cuban Government, The best scenario for a sustainable cooperation is Food Security and Agricultural Production. In this theme the UMCC has a very good cooperation with all the institutions of the Province at governmental level and with different associations of private stakeholders like ANAP (National Association of Small Farmers) among others. The EEPFIH is an institutional strength and the cooperation bonds with other institutions of the MES working on the agricultural field are excellent. Other opportunities are:

Tourism: the university has consolidated a good work, advising different resorts and touristic institutions in Varadero.

Urban planning and city conservation: a research group of the university working on this field in the City of Matanzas.

Energy: a large experience advising the petrochemical industry.


Generic needs of Higher Education that should be addressed at supra- and inter-institutional level

Keep working on the improvement of the quality of the academic and scientific processes with the objective of maximising the institutional contribution to the economical and social development of the country, especially in the main productive sectors of the province.

8.4 Modalities


Preferred intervention level (institutional programme, departmental project, scholarships, mobility, student exchanges etc)

Own initiative and academic mobility.


Views on academic partnership (values, transparency etc.)

The UMCC has the basic infrastructure and necessary human resources to implement sustainable actions in the areas of potential cooperation. The university assume its commitment of an adequate use of the financial means and a high performance of its professionals.


Network or multi stakeholder strategy and opportunities

The UMCC has very good cooperation links with a large number of institutions in Cuba and abroad.

9. Overall assessment with particular focus on IUC potential


Vision, leadership, governance and management capacity and stability

Some reservations about leadership and strategic planning/management capacity


Institutional policies and practices with regard to local, regional and national development policies and multi stakeholder orientation

In line with national development priorities; strong focus on local development


Capacity (systems, infrastructure, academic level) to accommodate academic cooperation and manage related funding and mobility


Thematic congruence with VLIR-UOS interest at academic and country level



Likelihood of effects and spin offs beyond campus (community, commercial, academic networks)



Relative suitability of VLIR-UOS intervention types in view of institution status and interest with particular focus on IUC potential.

No IUC potential; does not conform with regional priority Eastern region

1. Basic institutional data


Name university

Universidad Agraria de La Habana (UNAH)


Institutional contact details (Postal, tel/fax, website, e-mail..)

Postal address: Autopista Nacional, Km 231/2 y Carretera de Tapaste, San José de las Lajas, A.P. 32700, Provincia Mayabeque, Cuba

Phone number: (53 47) 862908/863395




Foundation year



Status (private, public)


2. VLIR-UOS/Flemish/Belgian linkages


Submitting association



VLIR-UOS projects (past and current)

Own Initiative project: Improvement soil salinity management under sugar cane using Geo-informatics (1999-2004). Promoters Prof. Dr. Marc van Meirvenne, Prof. Dr. Roger Hartmann, Department of Soil Management and Soil Care. Local counterparts Prof. Dr. Angel Utset and Prof Dr. Maria Elena Ruiz (after the second year was selected as the main counterpart due Prof. Utset changed his resident country).

Own Initiative project: Capacity building of UNAH and CENHICA (Centro de Hidrologia y Calidad del Agua) in view of a soil and water conservation programme in the Rio Cuyaguateje watershed in Western Cuba. Project ZEIN2005PR306 (2005-2011). Promoters Prof. Dr. Donald Gabriels, Prof. Dr. Wim Cornelis, Department of Soil Management and Soil Care, Local counterparts Prof. Dr. Maria Elena Ruiz, Prof. Jorge Diaz.


Other links with Belgian actors

Laboratory for Forest, Nature and Landscape Research, Leuven University Prof. Dr. Pol Copin (in the frame of the Own Initiative project “Improvement soil salinity management under sugar cane using Geo-informatics” (1999-2004)

Ministry of Education in Flanders (two scholarships for PhD professionals and one project to share experiences about study programs in a Master course in Ghent University about Soil and Land Resources. (1998-1999, 2001).


Other VLIR-UOS linkages (scholars, Flemish students etc.)

3. Flemish interest in cooperation (country, region, institution)


Flemish interest (names and groups)

Ghent University , Department of Soil Management and Soil Care:

Prof. Dr. Roger Hartmann (already retired) co promoter Own initiative project and Promoter an educational project with the Ministry of Education in Flanders region.

Prof. Dr. Marc van Meirvenne promoter Own initiative project

Prof. Dr. Donald Gabriels, promoter Own Initiative project

Prof. Dr. Wim Cornelis, co-promoter Own initiative project


Flemish interest (themes, disciplines, content, context)

Soil Physics, Land degradation processes (erosion, salinity, contamination, compaction), Soil Conservation, Geo-informatics (simulation models Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing), water use efficiency and conservation.

Prof. Dr. Josse Beardermaker (Catholic University of Leuven) College of Agricultural Engineering. Interest Theme: Acoustic Technology applied in Post-harvest.

4. University: Summary qualitative appraisal


Foundation, developmental milestones, management structure

The university was founded in 1976, as part of a Scientific and Educational Complex that belongs to the Cuban Ministry of Higher Education. It is formed by 5 faculties (Veterinary Medicine, Agronomy, Technical Sciences, Sports and Humanities, Social & Economic Sciences).


National position, leadership areas, most proud achievement

The Agrarian University of Havana is part of a Scientific and Educational Complex that belongs to the Ministry of Higher Education. It is focused on the education and research related to agriculture. In this field the Complex is the leading institution in Cuba.


Relationship with stakeholders (authorities, civil society, industry etc.)

The Scientific and Educational complex responds to the needs of society. The UNAH and the 3 research centres have excellent links with key stakeholders in Cuba (National and Provincial Governmental Bodies such as Ministry of Agriculture, Agricultural Enterprises, Agricultural Cooperatives, Local producers in the rural sectors, etc).


Self assessment of research and publication ability and output

The academics and scientist of the Complex participate in research of great impact and quality. The UNAH has a scientific journal called “Ciencias Técnicas Agropecuarias” (Agrarian Technical Sciences) which has a great visibility. Nonetheless, the participation of the staff in international publications is still lower than its enormous scientific potential.


Institutional strengths

  • The greatest strength of the complex is the integration in a unique scientific pole of the academic and scientific work developed in the university with the activities carried out by the 3 National Research Centres. This integration makes of the complex one of the most important scientific institutions in Cuba, in which are involved highly specialised personal from different disciplines such as medical doctors, biologist, biochemists, microbiologist, veterinarians, agronomist, pharmacist, chemical engineers, electronic engineers, physicists, mathematicians, cyberneticists among other professionals.

  • Some of the laboratories of the Research Centres are equipped with state of the art technology, allowing the implementation of research projects of great importance for the country.

  • The University has two main degrees, Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine, and both are registered as degrees of excellence. It has 17 master programmes and 13 PhD. Programmes. Many other postgraduate courses and professional training are taught by the institutions of the complex.


Institutional weaknesses

The main weakness is the infrastructure, especially in the facilities of the university campus as well as obsolesce and deterioration of its laboratories.

5. University: Summary qualitative appraisal

5.1 Budget

% Government funded


VLIR budget as %


Trend, quality of funding


Financial constraints

5.2 Staffing situation


Total # staff



Total # academic staff

1635 (572 Full time)


% female academic staff



% open vacancies

30 positions


# Ph.D. Holders on staff



Staff-student ratio

The student-staff ratio is approximately 1,2/1 professor, considering only undergraduate students.


Teaching load

It depends on the specialisation or position of the professor.


Staff turn-over

The staff has stability


Remarks staffing

5.3 Student body


Total # students

2004 undergraduate students


% female students





Remarks (distance education etc.)

5.4 Strategic plan


Strategic plan



Time coverage


5.5 Education offered

Social Sciences

Exact Sciences

Biomedical sciences


Bachelor (# programmes and # students)

230 students

922 students

852 students


Master (# programmes and # students)

2 programmes

4 programmes

11 programmes


Ph.D. (# programmes and # students)

1 programme

2 programmes

10 programmes


Remarks (part time, distance etc.)

6. VLIR-UOS contact persons (meeting and/or for future communication)

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