Genesis and aims

The Master course Tropical Forestry given in English language was sanctioned by the Sächsisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst (Saxon State Ministry for Science and the Arts) in 1995 and the first matriculation took place in 1995/96 winter semester. The graduates were conferred upon the academic degree Master of Science (MSc) with the supplement Tropical Forestry.

Since the beginning the course has been supported by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).

Starting with the academic year 2006/07 the ERASMUS MUNDUS-Program Sustainable Tropical Forestry (SUTROFOR) has been integrated. Hence, scholarship holder of the European Community and other students add to the spectrum. Moreover, in the MUNDUS-Program also faculties cooperate, which are located in Copenhagen, Bangor, Montpellier and Padua.

The course was successfully accredited by ASIIN in 2008 and was honored in the competition for the "Quality label for the top ten Master courses at German universities" by Stifterverband der deutschen Wissenschaft (Association of German Scientific Foundations). An external evaluation by the DAAD took place in 2009 with very good result. The course offered starting from winter semester 2013/2014 is subdivided in the study units Tropical Forestry and Management, which largely corresponds to the previous course, as well as the study unit Sustainable Tropical Forestry (SUTROFOR), being offered jointly with four partner universities within the framework of an ERASMUS-MUNDUS-project.

The course aims at educating competent executives with the ability of developing scientifically substantiated, innovative and sustainable management concepts for forest, forest plantations and woody plant components in agro-forestry systems  as well as in urban and peri-urban green spaces, as well as controlling and accompanying by observation their implementation.  This includes the flexible adaptation to the changing ecological and social framework. The students acquire knowledge of methods from social, natural, engineering sciences and can apply this in the management of tropical and subtropical landscapes. The main emphasis is on the interaction between human being and forest, as well as between the various interest groups, being expressed in the teaching of multidisciplinary approaches.

The course is development-oriented, internationally staged and turns primarily to students from countries of the tropics and subtropics. Corresponding to the professional perspectives importance is attached to the increasing participation of students from Germany and other European countries.  

Target group of the Master course are future decision-makers in the management of forest resources as well as at the junctions with other specialist disciplines. This refers to forestry, agriculture, horticulture, landscape and regional planning, geography, water management, nature conservation, biology. The graduates are qualified for development-relevant interventions in rural spaces and in transitional zones between town and countryside. They are to be equipped with a special capacity for functioning as change agents, in order to sustainably develop at differentiated scale levels the management of forest resources for various products and services.

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Richard Georgi
Last modified: May 21, 2014