- coordinator of FORMDER project -




The International Center for Higher Education of Mediterranean Agronomy (CIHEAM), created in 1962, is an intergovernmental organization that, by providing post-graduate training and developing research networks, is a tool of cooperation between Mediterranean countries. Its current priorities involve agricultural policies, rural development, development engineering, food safety, and environmental protection. The Agronomic Institute of Montpellier, one of the four CIHEAM institutions, is specialized in economic and social sciences applied to agriculture and the rural world.


CIHEAM-IAMM has organized training at the Master’s level for forty years in partnership with several training institutes and high-level research institutes (CIRAD, ENGREF, CNEARC, the Universities of Montpellier I and Montpellier III). It offers a Master of Science degree in rural development, « Rural Development and Planning », which accepts 15 to 20 students per year from a dozen Mediterranean countries (Spain, Greece, Portugal, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Albania, France, etc). IAMM training functions according to the European credit hour system, where two credits represent 15 hours of course work plus 30 hours of supervised work and practicum, and teaching is organized in modules of 2 or 4 weeks.

In addition, CIHEAM-IAMM has, for several years, coordinated research projects in rural development in the Mediterranean basin (study of the state of rural development in 12 Mediterranean countries, focusing on Mediterranean rural development institutions and organizations).

This training aims to qualify teachers likely to work on rural development projects in various structures (local collectives, administrations, NGOs, international organizations, research bureaus, etc).

Teaching team and equipment

The IAMM teaching team is of international nature and is composed of 12 teacher-researchers, 3 of which are specialists in the area of rural development. In addition to this permanent teaching team, supplemented by part-time lecturers, IAMM is supported by a network of teacher-researchers in the region (University of Economic Science, University of Humanities), and in several other Mediterranean countries, as well as a network of development professionals. Two of the teachers speak fluent Arabic, and the entire teaching team speaks average to good English. The entire teaching team is proficient in computer technology and some of the teachers are proficient in specialized data processing and financial assessment software.

IAMM possesses 2 computer laboratories for courses (35 PCs in total, equipped with different specialized software and connected to the Internet) and 2 free-access computer laboratories for students connected to the Internet. IAMM also possesses a documentation center (48,000 reference materials, 310 periodicals, 500 audiovisual documents). Finally, the institute possesses specific materials, such as 3 data shows, simultaneous interpretation equipment, audiovisual equipment (TV, video recorders, cameras) and visual conference equipment. The institute also has a student hostel with the capacity of accommodating almost 80 students.


Interest of FORMDER project for the institution

Taking into account its history of cooperation in the area of training and research on rural development, IAMM is an ideal platform capable to conduct a liaison program between the post-graduate training institutions in the Mediterranean basin. It has strong links with the universities of the countries of southern Europe, and also with partners on the south coast of the Mediterranean, with which it maintains educational cooperation (joint training) and scientific cooperation (common networks and research programs, especially the RAFAC network projects, coordinated by IAMM). It may, therefore, be the launching party and operating partner of a program that will evaluate progress and needs, develop teaching tools, and use new technologies to support education. CIHEAM-IAMM has also for several decades been a place of exchange for agricultural and rural development professionals in the Mediterranean basin. This has led it to develop a diagnostic vision for the region that will allow it to link the practices used in the Mediterranean basin to scientific disciplines and methods. It is under these conditions that high-level university training may allow both the creation of a cooperative body in the region, by creating a common scientific culture based on a common diagnostic, and also by training high-level professionals to ensure that the objectives set by the different Mediterranean countries for rural development will be achieved.