Mathematics education for sustainable agriculture specialists
One of the Sustainable Development objectives is to promote life-long learning opportunities for all, but one of the Lifelong Learning competences is mathematical competence, which can be obtained studying mathematics at schools and universities. The question is how much and whether the course of mathematics should be included in the curriculum of the agronomy specialties at universities. The aim of the article is to highlight the insufficient amount of higher mathematics in the education of agriculture specialist in the context of sustainable development. The objectives of the study: to identify the importance of mathematics for agronomy specialists by analysing the role of the mathematics education for agronomy specialists and to analyse the proportion of mathematics courses in the curriculum of the agronomy programmes in the Baltics States and the Baltic Sea region’s higher education institutions. The mathematics education is important for agronomy specialists in many fields. Agronomy specialists need knowledge and skills in basic mathematics, in statistical analysis and interpretation, mathematical modelling, in scientific methods, in economic analysis. The knowledge and skills in a direct and indirect means is provided by mathematical studies at universities. In order to analyse the proportion of mathematics courses in study programmes of Agriculture, Agronomy and Horticulture, three universities of the Baltic States were compared: the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Aleksandras Stulginskis University (Lithuania) and Estonian University of Life Sciences. For a more comprehensive analysis and comparison several universities from the Baltic Sea region were chosen that provide studies in agricultural sciences. Unfortunately, not all agronomy programmes in the Baltic Sea region contain the higher mathematics course that would help to understand the role of derivatives, integrals, and differential equations in the modelling process, as well as further developing general problem-solving skills.