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HARPER ADAMS' RECRUITMENT DEFIES PUNDITS

Posted 1 October 2002

HARPER ADAMS University College, Shropshire, has announced a successful year's recruitment of more than 450 new students, despite concerns in the industry and against all previous predictions.

Principal Professor Wynne Jones, the man at the helm of Harper Adams, points out that this is a remarkable achievement given the prevailing situation: "You have to remember that this cohort of students is the real post Foot & Mouth Disease intake.

"Last year's intake of students may have joined in the aftermath of the worst of the FMD outbreak but those students had already applied, been interviewed and had been offered places before the extent of the problems were known.

"This September 2002 intake is like a litmus test that absolutely establishes the state of mind of our young people toward their future in the industry."

However, student numbers at Harper Adams do indicate that within an overall positive picture, individual courses have experienced fluctuations in the level of their popularity.

New recruits to the University College's Degrees and HNDs in Agriculture are down, but by far less than some had been predicting.

"Last year we had one hundred new students on our Agriculture courses," comments Professor Jones. "This year, we will probably confirm nearer to ninety. Yes, we would like a few more but there are still plenty here to run our distinctive sandwich degree programme with all its specialisms."

Overall, the new student numbers have been augmented by a slight growth in the number of new students taking degrees in subjects such as Engineering and Business Management and Marketing, which have seen particular success this year.

"The net result of all this," concludes Professor Jones, "is that our total registration will stay at more than 1,700 students and provide us with a foundation from which to continue our work of educating and preparing the next generation for a future in the food and rural land-based industries."

(Ends)

Notes to Editors:

 A picture of Harper Adams' 2002 recruits receiving the welcoming address from Principal Professor Wynne Jones accompanies this press release.

 Harper Adams University College is the UK's largest specialist provider of Higher Education for the land and food-based industries.

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