The Landini Tractor Story - The Rector’s Birthday Present to Our Youth

The Landini Tractor Story - The Rector’s Birthday Present to Our Youth

Baku, May 2, AZERTAC

On Rector Hafiz Pashayev's birthday, ADA University Vice-Rector of Academic Affairs Vafa Kazdal shares some recent initiatives of the Rector with the ADA community in the form of a story. AZERTAC introduces this story and a video dedicated to it.

Every new beginning has its “Aha moments”. That’s an occasion that generates a spark of belief and optimism and confirms that, indeed, dreams can become reality. It’s the moment when a smile unites everyone around a mission or a cause. These “Aha moments” are often generated by leaders and serve to inject enthusiasm.

Such an “Aha moment” happened a few days ago, when a delegation from the University of Bologna, Italy, led by its Rector, Professor Giovanni Molari came to Baku to launch our joint ADA University / Bologna certificate program “Agriculture and Food Science Management” - inaugural program of ADA School of Agriculture and Food Science.

While information technologies (IT), economics, engineering, management, and politics are areas in which ADA University has accumulated considerable experience and practice over the years, the development of agriculture in Azerbaijan in the 21st Century is a completely new challenge for us. It’s not a secret that this field is currently not very popular among our youth. Many students still regard this field with skepticism and view it as potentially limited, offering little innovation and low wages. So, one of our greatest challenges in launching this program is to inspire youth to dare to enter this field.

The visit of experts from Bologna coincided with Ramadan. As classes were not in session, we took our guests to Shamakhi to enjoy this scenic region with its rich soil and modern developed agriculture. The spirit of Ramadan permeated our time together sharing food, warm spirits, culture, know-how and knowledge.

Prior to Rector Molari’s visit, we had learned of his background and passion for tractors, so we felt that it would be incredibly symbolic for him to mount and drive an Italian Landini tractor to launch our new initiative. Shamakhi was the best venue for this. Tractors were lined up to welcome us. My own memories of tractors date back to the Soviet times: they were very large and, frankly speaking, not very attractive. But these Landini tractors were compact, modern, and painted a gorgeous blue color. Cool. What a contrast! I could imagine our students—bright, dynamic, innovative young men and women—behind the wheel of such vehicles with their sleeves rolled up, on their way to becoming agronomists and establishing new trends.

While Rector Molari was starting one of the tractors, Rector Pashayev climbed up on another one. Soon both of them were driving. It was a simple act, challenging our youth not to hesitate but to be inspired and work hard to create one of the finest agriculture schools and to become catalysts for change in the agricultural economy of the region.

To me, that was the “Aha moment”! There they were—both rectors driving tractors symbolic of this partnership and energy that each of them is bringing to this new endeavor.

The certificate program “Agriculture and Food Science Management” kickstarted on April 25th and last Saturday, April 29th, the first session of a three-module program jointly designed and delivered with the University of Bologna was successfully completed. Thirty high-level Azerbaijani experts in the field of agriculture and food science from ministries, companies and research institutes are involved in this joint certificate program. The second module will be held online. And then, for the final module, our Azerbaijani experts will go to Bologna in July to take part in seminars and make field visits.

This certificate program, along with the newly launched double-degree graduate program of “Global Management and Politics” with Luiss University, another Italian university with which we have partnered with, is the first program of a multi-dimensional Italy-Azerbaijan University project embarked upon by ADA University as the result of an initiative by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

Five top Italian universities with global expertise in the fields of agriculture, engineering, architecture and design, together with ADA University, will establish two new schools—the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, and the School of Design and Architecture. This is part of ADA University’s strategic direction for the coming years to expand the portfolio of career prospects for the youth in areas that will contribute to the development of the post-oil economy of Azerbaijan - said Rector Pashayev in one of his recent interviews to television channels.

Today, May 2nd, happens to be Rector Pashayev’s birthday! Typically, birthdays are occasions when friends and family shower the recipient with gifts. But in this case, the opposite is true. This time, it is the Rector’s gift to our youth, and it will open new career possibilities and will strengthen and enable them to build the future of their own country!

Happy birthday, dear Mr. Rector. Thanks for your huge gift to all of us!

P.S. Here’s a short video dedicated to this story. Enjoy! 

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