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    Posted 18 October 2001

    MORE THAN 100 students have enrolled on to Agriculture courses at Harper Adams University College this year, dispelling fears about the long-term effects of Foot and Mouth Disease upon recruitment.

    “If you thought that in the wake of Foot and Mouth, there would be nobody wanting to study Agriculture then this shows you should think again,” said Richard Jopling, Head of Marketing & Liaison at Harper Adams, recently.

    Mr Jopling, who takes responsibility for student recruitment at the University College, said: “We have enrolled an amazing 112 new students onto the degree and HND Agriculture programmes this year.

    “We are very pleased with our student recruitment this year and although we are a few down on Agriculture from last year, we are still in a very strong position indeed.”

    No less than 73 new students began a BSc (Hons) Agriculture course at Harper Adams earlier this month, while another 39 students have joined to undertake an Agriculture HND.

    Mr Jopling added: “In addition, if you look at Harper Adams as a whole and take into account all our courses, including those at Associate Centres, we now have a total student body of 1,797.

    “This is all the more remarkable when you remember that this is up 59 students on last year.”

    But will there be jobs for all those students and should Harper Adams be recruiting during such a difficult time for the countryside and for those in rural careers? Mr Jopling maintains his upbeat message.

    “All the evidence indicates that there are far less students, nationally, coming into the industry and that we are concentrating them here. As a consequence, there will be less people qualifying and chasing jobs.

    “You must also remember that at Harper Adams we are dealing in Higher Education and that our students have access to graduate level employment. This means there is a wide scope of opportunities in front of them rather than total dependence on one avenue of employment.

    “The employment statistics of Agriculture graduates continue to look good as a degree is widely recognised both for its academic worth and the employability of its graduates.”

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