Križevci College of Agriculture belongs to the oldest agricultural colleges in the South East Europe. The present-day college together with secondary agricultural school represents a continuity of the former Agriculture and Forestry College that was established in 1860 in Križevci, an old town with diverse culture, and countryside close at hand. The town and College have always enjoyed close links, from its foundation to the present day. By establishing the Agriculture and Forestry College the town of Križevci was pushed into the very centre of intellectual life in Croatia, and the College itself became a "hotbed" of professional work and research staff, and the cradle of future Agricultural Faculty and Faculty of Forestry in Zagreb.
In the course of many years the College provided education and training to more than 11000 students, who later became excellent agronomists and foresters, not only in Croatia but also abroad. The teachers published first Croatian books in agriculture and forestry as well as the first scientific journal Gospodarska smotra (1909). They also established first Croatian agricultural research stations and institutes, and by introducing high quality animal breeds made a sound foundation for livestock development in Croatia.
THE COLLEGE TODAY
Križevci College of Agriculture with its 650 students and 52 academic staff is organized today as an integrated legal unit which delivers full-time and part-time courses in accordance with the Bologna process. The courses are usually structured within modular frameworks and credits are allocated to different levels of courses against a standard Bologna model of 60 credits per year, which facilitates student mobility. KCA offers professional study courses in rural-based subjects of three years in duration (180 ECTS), specialist graduate professional study courses of two years in sustainable and organic agriculture (120 ECTS), top-up courses and a range of short courses and specialist seminars (LLL) for professional workers in land-based industries, for entrepreneurs in agribusiness, and associations of farmers. The College has developed new professional courses (Bachelor and Specialist level) in entrepreneurship economics and marketing and management in agriculture. Upon completion of the professional study courses of three years and successful defending of final thesis students can be awarded the title of professional bachelor (in a specific field such as plant production, zootechnique, farm management, entrepreneurship economics) and the title of specialist (spec. in sustainable and organic agriculture, marketing and management in agriculture and entrepreneurship economics).
The basic mission of the College is to provide leadership regionally and nationally through professionally-oriented education and training to industries and professions in the rural economy. It prepares graduates to work in agricultural production, services (processing, marketing, trade, input supplies), extension/advisory services and rural development organisations. It provides courses on a range of focused topics where students can develop new skills and competences or address current issues in agriculture. The agricultural transition in Central European countries, including Croatia, and the changing role and characteristics of agriculture in the economies of these countries, represent a field in which KCA has been quick to develop an interest.
The College is noted for the high quality of the resources for education. Courses are offered in lecture rooms, laboratories, specialist studios, workshops and on the College farm (92 ha and units of different farm animals). It has facilities with good technical support and modern teaching aids, including Information Technology and Computer resources. The staff is also highly qualified with most teachers maintaining their professional practice and research within their disciplines.
There is a shift from teacher-centred approach to student- centred approach. Another important aspect of education is commitment to quality assurance. European dimension is enabled through rich international cooperation which includes international projects, exchange of students and staff with distinguished institutions from EU as well as field trips and study tours.