NMBU is a government-funded university, with 5000 students distributed among 64 study programmes, and with 1700 employees. NMBU’s research, education and extension deal with challenges from local to global levels regarding the environment, land- and resource management, food production, sustainable development, and human livelihoods. The Agroecology section at Department of Plant Sciences, consisting of three professors, a researcher, and a PhD student, is responsible for systemic, interdisciplinary research and education with an emphasis on the sustainability of farming and food systems and participatory action learning and research processes as strategies for informal and formal knowledge generation and systems improvement. Since 2000, an MSc programme in Agroecology has been running with 20 students enrolled yearly. Half of these are also enrolled in the European MSc in Agroecology, in a double-degree collaborative programme between NMBU and the French FESIA university consortium.
NMBU is particularly experienced, through an action learning strategy in the interdisciplinary MSc programme Agroecology, in applying a holistic approach to complex situations with conflicting goals and interests. Education is aimed at facilitating responsible change processes towards improved sustainability based on key agroecological principles. Several publications have reported on this educational strategy, and NMBU has contributed to developing similar programs in Ethiopia, Uganda, Sweden and India. Since 2000, 65 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and 61 contributions to conference proceedings have been published, and 20 international workshops have been facilitated by key personnel in the Agroecology section.