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    Strong demand for graduates

    Posted 22 December 2006

    THE PRINCIPAL of the UK’s leading university institution for rural and land-based industries has been talking about its student success on a recent visit to Northern Ireland.

    Professor Wynne Jones, Principal of Shropshire’s Harper Adams University College held a number of talks during his visit on December 7th and 8th.

    Commenting during the visit, he said: “Indications during the past two years have shown that the University College has a strong success rate between admission and employment of students.

    “An employment survey completed by students who finished courses in 2005 shows that 96.7% of our students found employment or were engaged in further study within six months of completing a first degree course.

    “This is attributable to the applied nature of all courses and a testimony to the quality of teaching and learning provided by the university college, which develops the skills and employability of students.

    “Harper Adams is committed to producing high-quality graduates who are intellectually capable and professionally tuned to take up an immediate role in industry and many of our students are from farming backgrounds possess a strong entrepreneurial streak in them.

    “Most of all, it illustrates a strong demand for graduates within the farming and food-chain sector. This is a significant proportion of an economy and it demands the best talents.”

    Students are supported throughout their study at the campus-based University College – particularly during their Industrial Placement - normally a 12 month period.

    Professor Jones added: “The placement period gives students the opportunity to gain practical experience to underpin their studies, along with an insight into a sector of the industry and advantage in the career market

    “Additionally, many students gain a foothold in the industry and are offered employment after graduation – leading to the high success rate.
    “During the past 12 months, the Placement Learning sector, based at the Aspire Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning has created the Harper@Work portal for placement students and employers to access support and guidance.

    “Additionally, the proportion of students who achieve their intended award is very high with 96% completing an honours degree in 2005/06. Additionally, following the results of the National Student Survey 2006 it was found that Harper Adams’ students were the 7th most satisfied in the country,” Professor Jones added.

    In February 2006, our final year students at Harper Adams participated in the second National Student Survey (NSS), commissioned, in part, by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

    The aim of the survey, which involved more than 150,000 (58%) final year undergraduate students from 129 institutions, was to generate feedback about the quality of academic programmes from a student perspective and help inform the choices of future applicants to higher education.

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