SLU news

Meet Rebecca - a rural development agronomist student at SLU

Published: 02 November 2017

Rebecca Hymnelius, an SLU student in her fifth year of the  Rural Development Agronomist programme always had an interest in environmental issues combined with social issues. This year she did an internship at SLU Global and SIANI. We took the chance to ask her about her interests and her goals in life.

Rebecca, can you please tell us a little bit about who you are and what you are doing at SLU?

- I’m in my fifth year of the Agronomist Rural Development programme. I chose to study at SLU because I have always held an interest in environmental issues combined with social issues. Therefore, rural development was a really good choice for me. One of the mandatory courses we have to take within the agronomist programme is Project management and Communication for Agronomists in which the students work in project groups assigned to a project commissioner. The commissioner in our case was SIANI (Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative) and the project resulted in a report on how the UN's Global Goals and Agenda 2030 for sustainable development influence the agronomist programmes. The report is in Swedish and is mainly based on a survey and on interviews with agronomy students about their knowledge and commitment to the UN's Global Goals and Agenda 2030. We also examined the occurrence of the agenda in the agronomy programmes at SLU.

What were the results of your project on agronomy students and Agenda 2030?

-Our survey indicated that there is distinct knowledge on various topics related to sustainable development, which can be linked to the different objectives of Agenda 2030. However, there is a lack of general knowledge regarding sustainable development among agronomy students.

-In the report we argue that, to reach greater general knowledge it is important that course leaders and lecturers have distinct curricula, which explicitly describes how sustainability should be implemented in the programs. SLU Global can also play an important role in the further implementation of sustainability issues in the agronomy programmes. 

How come you did an internship at SLU Global and SIANI and what were your tasks?

- Working with issues connected to development in the global south has always been a driving factor and because of this I did an internship at SIANI  and at SLU Global in spring 2017. During the internship I was able to participate in and arrange events and workshops linked to sustainable agriculture. At SLU Global, for example, I took part in a visit by a research delegation from Cambodia. I wrote a news piece about the visit that was published on SLU Global's and SLU's webpages.

What are you doing next and what are your dreams for the future? 

- In the spring I will be writing my thesis about community forestry in Nepal and I will be doing a Minor Field Study for two months in Nepal. After my studies I am hoping to be able to work with issues related to rural development either in Sweden or abroad. The dream would be to lead or be part of projects linked to agriculture to influence the relation between urban and rural areas and the current attitude on food production.​

Thank you Rebecca for your time with us here at SLU Global!
We wish you the best of luck with fulfilling your dreams in the future.