African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6578

Full Length Research Paper

Needs assessment of senior agricultural students regarding sustainability knowledge

Amirhossein Alibaygi and Mehrdad Pouya*
  1Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Faculty of Agriculture, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran. 2Agricultural Extension and Rural Development Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Nahavand Higher Education Complex, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamadan, Iran.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 31 October 2011
  •  Published: 19 December 2011



Given the increasing desire for sustainable practices in our world today, graduates of agricultural higher education systems all around the world would be facing new challenges after their arrival into marketplace and dealing with their prospectus clientele. The purpose of this study was to identify and prioritize the educational needs of agricultural senior students towards sustainability. Population of the study was senior bachelor degree students of agricultural faculties, western part of Iran. The sample size was calculated using the Krejcie and Morgan (1970) sampling table (n=285). A factor analysis approach was implemented to categorize educational needs of respondents; and eventually five groups were ranked and finalized as the following: (1) participatory planning, (2) participatory techniques in rural development, (3) biodiversity protection methods, (4) sustainable soil protection methods, and (5) utilization of indigenous knowledge. Stepwise multiple regression revealed that four of agricultural learners' characteristics that is, previous experience in agriculture, commitment to sustainable rural development, gender, and finally teamwork interest explained 75% of the variance (R square = 0.75) which was statistically significant. A t-test that followed indicated that students living in rural settings as compared to those living in urban areas demonstrated different educational needs (t = 5.99, p = 0.02). It seems to us that a high priority should be given to planning and implementing complementary courses regarding sustainability issues.


Key words: Agricultural students, sustainability needs, participation, higher education.