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Rise in UK postgraduate students choosing agriculture

Posted 12 January 2013

It is an exciting time to be involved in agriculture and the university too has seen an increase in interest in these courses – which reflects the increased profile and significance that agriculture plays both within the UK and globally

More young people are choosing to study agriculture at postgraduate level in the UK, according to a new report.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) revealed that postgraduate ‘Agriculture and related subjects’ saw the biggest increase in UK university enrolment over the last year.

Between 2010/11 and 2011/12 the number of postgraduate students studying ‘Agriculture and related subjects’ rose from 1,970 to 2,170 – a 10 per cent rise, while Computer Science, which saw the biggest decline, dropped by 15 per cent.

Harper Adams University, the UK’s only dedicated agri-food science university, is committed to developing highly qualified professionals and has expanded its portfolio of taught postgraduate courses to meet the developments and demands of rural industries around the world.

Taught postgraduate Agriculture courses offered by Harper Adams include Entomology, Farm and Agri-business Management, Integrated Pest Management, Soil and Water Management, and Sustainable Agriculture.

Dr Mitch Crook, Taught Postgraduate Course Manager at Harper Adams University, said: “We have long established postgraduate courses in agriculture, which range from Postgraduate Certificates, Diplomas and Masters degree provision, and to reflect the dynamic changes in the agricultural sector are continually adapting the university’s existing provision together with developing new programmes which include Precision Farming and Ruminant Nutrition.

“It is an exciting time to be involved in agriculture and the university too has seen an increase in interest in these courses – which reflects the increased profile and significance that agriculture plays both within the UK and globally.”

The HESA report states: “The total number of first year enrolments stood at 1,117,335 in 2011/12 a decrease of two per cent. The number of postgraduate first year enrolments decreased by five per cent.

“The greatest percentage increase in postgraduate student enrolments between 2010/11 and 2011/12 was observed in Agriculture and related subjects (10 per cent).”

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