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History

History of the Faculty of Agriculture in Osijek

Faculty of Agriculture was founded on 18 October 1960 under the name Higher School of Agriculture. Although at that time it was a part of University of Zagreb, still it was the first Higher education institution in this part of Croatia. The reason for its establishment was high demand for educated workers in agriculture, while the intensive development of scientific research in agriculture and the application of scientific methodologies in crop and animal production at that time supported and sped up that process. The leading institution in implementing scientific methodology in agriculture at that time was the Agricultural Institute in Osijek. Initiative for the establishment of Higher School of Agriculture was launched by Croatian Agricultural Society. Higher school of Agriculture had organized classes in two study programmes – Crop production and Livestock production, which lasted for six semesters or three years, and in the first semester in the 1960, 234 students enrolled. Soon the existing program became inadequate so in 1969, a four-year study period began with eight semesters.

Because of the needs for establishing a new programme in Food technology in 1970, The Higher school of Agriculture was renamed into Faculty of Agriculture and Food Technology. By the year 1975, J.J. Strossmayer University of Osijek was founded, and the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Technology became one of its members. One year later, in 1976, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Technology was divided in two institutions - Faculty of Agriculture and Faculty of Food Technology. That same year, the University’s Biotechnological Scientific Education Center (BTZNC) was founded, which included the Faculty of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Institute and the Faculty of Food Technology. In the academic year of 1976/77, Faculty of Agriculture started with a new study programme - Agricultural engineering.

In 1977, Faculty of Agriculture, along with other members of BTZNC moved into the newly built center on Tenjska road outside of Osijek. Moving to a new center with over 4000 square meters, the Faculty of Agriculture had the opportunity to significantly improve the quality of scientific and educational activities. From the 1st January 1978, The Higher School of Agriculture in Vinkovci merged with Faculty of Agriculture in a single University institution. With that integration, Higher Agricultural School contributed with their programme of Agricultural engineering, and since that year, Faculty of Agriculture in Osijek offered students three study programmes: Crop Production, Livestock production and Agricultural engineering.

Later on Faculty of Agriculture separated from the Biotechnological Scientific Education Center and continued with its work as an independent academic and research institution within the University of Osijek. Year 1991, will remain permanently recorded in the history of our Faculty. At the time when the Faculty was at its best in the development of education, scientific research and cooperation with industry and international institutions and also had the highest number of enrolled students, the war against Croatia abruptly suspended all working activities. The aggression completely destroyed workspaces, laboratories, classrooms and all associated infrastructure. The current generations of students at the University of Osijek do not know that the former students of the Faculty of Agriculture in Osijek had at their disposal a spacious environment, modern student restaurant, library and conditions that could be compared with modern European university centers.

The period from 1991 till 1994 was the most difficult period for the Faculty of Agriculture since it was left without work space and equipment. Nonetheless, it didn’t remain without its students, professors, help and support from other members of the Universities and institutions from Croatia and abroad. Teaching was performed at several locations in the city of Osijek (Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Law, Pedagogical Faculty etc.). Students from the Faculty of Agriculture were actively involved in the Croatian Army and six students were killed defending the homeland. Despite the enormous difficulties Faculty has continued its educational and scientific work, thanks to the remarkable tenacity and discipline of the employees. In 1995, Journal of Students of Agriculture was established and symbolically named "Fenix". In 1995, The Faculty of Agriculture moved into temporarily allocated space in the building of the former Military base in the old town of Tvrđa. After that began the process of reconstruction, which consisted of providing equipment for classrooms, laboratories, library and technical support in accordance with the physical capabilities and financial support from the University and the Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development and other types of help and donations. From the academic year 1998-99 till the end of 2000-01, some study programmes were held in Vinkovci as a part of study-programme of Associated University of Požega. By the decision of the Minister of Science, starting from June 2001, our Faculty re-enrolled students for the higher education study programmes of Agriculture in Vinkovci starting from the academic year 2001-02.

From the academic year 2005/06, students enrolled in the first year of study following a completely new concept of higher education according to Bologna declaration. That year is actually the beginning process of adjustment of Croatian higher education system to the European standards. Another important date in the history of the Faculty of Agriculture is 28th May 2008, when the cornerstone for the new building was officially laid on the area of the University campus. On 5th November 2011 new building was opened and from than moment started a new era in Faculty development.

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