The beginnings of Banat’s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine „King Mihai I of Romania” from Timisoara are related to 1945 when, by Royal Decree 2 394 and Law no. 617, the Faculty of Agronomy of the Polytechnic Institute was established on July 30th.
Over the years, the institution has undergone successive changes, not all of them auspicious, due to historical vicissitudes. However, over time, the Agronomic Institute has developed, with the Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine being transferred, with short reorganization periods. Despite adverse times, the Agronomic Institute was a real fortress of life sciences, every year, by its gates graduating a great number of specialists who honored the university and its teachers. Higher education has a tradition of nearly 100 years in the city. Since then Timisoara has become the most important university pole in the west of the country.
After 1989, the name of the institution has changed again, becoming Banat University of Agricultural Sciences of Timisoara, then the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Banat in Timisoara, in order to finally acquire the current name, in 2016, by Senate decision.
Since 1989, our university integrates into the general currents of change that dominate the whole society. Thus, at present, the old Agronomic Institute, which exclusively trained agronomic engineers, currently has not less than 6 faculties (Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry, Agricultural Management and Rural Tourism, Veterinary Medicine, Bioengineering of Animal Resources, Food Engineering) with approximately 300 teachers. Professor Cosmin Popescu presents the educational offer: „Speaking of bachelor degrees we have developed more than 26 study programs out of which Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture in English and Environmental Protection and Veterinary Medicine in French. When it comes to master’s degree, we can offer more than 25 master programs including English programs for Food Engineering, Human Nutrition and Bioeconomy. The bioeconomy program has been developed in cooperation with European universities. Following the request of the HORECA sector we launched a very interesting master’s program in Oenology, wine tasting. We have 2 doctoral schools, one in Veterinary Medicine and the other for Engineering of Vegetal and Animal Resources, with many directions: Agriculture, Horticulture, Food Processing, Animal Husbandry. We are planning to open a PhD program for Environmental Protection and Engineering and Management in agriculture and rural development as well because this is a very required specialization in the modern economy”.
More than 300 foreign students from some 20 different countries have chosen USAMVBT for their studies. The management values mobility programs for students and academic staff such as ERASMUS and ERASMUS+. The Department of International Relations supports participation in research and training programs through scholarships abroad and adherence to mobility programs for students and teachers. Mr. Professor Cosmin Popescu advises future students and their families from Romania and abroad to invest in studying with USAMVBT because: “the agribusiness is a sector with great perspectives. Education and research in this area are vital as we are learning and studying how to put food on people’s tables. Constantly we receive requests for specialists from our partners in the industry and our alumni enjoy great employment rates. Our undergraduates also have the chance to start working part-time, they are being offered internships, including paid internships which is very important for them”.
Speaking about the new coordinates of agriculture, a new framework in which today’s specialist needs a much wider scientific horizon than yesterday is required. That’s because, as Mr. Professor Cosmin Popescu says, “Education, research and innovation should remain connected to the real world and society because we believe in the power of universities to develop Romania. We are a university of life sciences, therefore our mission is teaching, research and, most importantly, contributing to the progress of society by bringing it closer to the economy and the business environment”.
Studying in Timisoara is an extra advantage for both, foreign and Romanian students. Why? Professor Cosmin Popescu explains: „Timisoara is very well connected to both, West and East of Europe. We are very close to Budapest, Belgrade and Vienna. More than 13 ethnic communities live here peacefully and all of them enjoy the intercultural and multi-confessional atmosphere. In the city center we have a mix of art nouveau, eclectic (new baroque, new renaissance) new Romanian style.”
STATE-OF-THE-ART ACADEMIC CITY FOR RESEARCH, INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSFER
The University has a teaching and research station consisting of an agricultural area of approximately 3000 hectares. On some of this area, they intend to develop an ACADEMIC CITY OF SCIENCE. Professor Cosmin Popescu is enthusiastic to invite partners from around the world to join in such unique opportunity: “This will be a brand new regional hub for research and innovation. The position is very good, close to Timisoara, close to our University and very well connected to the highway and airport. We will build a smart city, a green, high-tech city dedicated to research, innovation and technological transfer. We decided in our board to start with an Institute for Biosecurity and Bioengineering. We already have discussions with potential partners from neighboring Serbia and Hungary, but this will open opportunities for universities, researchers, companies from Europe and around the world in all areas of agro-food science and connected fields. I invite people with vision to invest with us for the next generation because when we build for the next generation we build more responsible and more sustainable. I welcome the young generation and not only to be together with us for this project for our region”.
When it comes to internationalization USAMVBT has experience in participating in many EU research projects and leads the German-Romanian agriculture school in Voiteg. Other objectives of the Research, Innovation and Technology Transfer Department lead by Vice-Rector Prof. Isidora RADULOV are increasing internal and international mobility of researchers, participation in Horizon 2020 and INTERREG Europe programs, EEA Grants and Norway Grants. She says: “Right now we are leaders of around 40 research projects. So we are open for all the researchers from around the world to come to our University for the research infrastructure because I think in Life Sciences sector we cover all the equipment and we can do all types of analysis or research”.