Both forestry and tertiary education are undergoing profound changes. Critical changes in forestry include: the conceptualisation of forests and forestry as complex soft systems; the changing roles of public and private sectors, and of civil society; the changing social, economic and environmental values of different sorts of forests; and the globalisation and commoditisation of many forest products and services. Critical changes in tertiary education include: the broadening of access at undergraduate and postgraduate levels; the parallel widespread diminution of resources on a per-student basis; the shift from teacher-centred to student-centred learning; rapid technological developments, particularly but not only in information technologies; and globalisation and commoditisation. These changes define both strategic and practical challenges, and constraints and opportunities, for forestry education. There are advocates of both radical and more cautious reforms of forestry education. This paper describes how the Department of Community Forestry and Extension, Makerere University has responded to these challenges and opportunities, and reflects on some personal experiences and current issues.
Makerere Journal of Higher Education Vol. 1, 2004: 62-70