Sunday, June 25, 2017

Agriculture continues to attract wider audience at Writtle

May 31, 2017 by  
Filed under News & Business

Writtle-Countryfile

The number of students studying agriculture who do not come from a farming background continues to increase at Writtle University College, Essex.

For many years, agriculture as a subject has predominantly been studied by those who come from a traditional agricultural background. But the balance of students at the campus near Chelmsford has changed – and recent trends show that the split is now a lot more even.

In fact, during the last six years the majority of students undertaking an agriculture degree at Writtle start their course with little or no previous experience in the subject. Even so, many now go on to make a career in the industry.

This shift highlights how more students now have a better understanding of how agriculture is open to people from all walks of life and the huge value the subject has when it comes to key global issues such as food production and sustainability.

The career prospects available to those who have completed a course are vast and the industry continues to require skilled and knowledgeable employees who have a real understanding of modern agricultural challenges such as population growth.

Unique

Agriculture course leader Nicola Blackie said: “We welcome students from all backgrounds onto our agriculture courses. For me, that is what makes us at WUC unique. Students will be mixing together and learning different skills from each other in the classroom and in the fields.”

She added:  “Agriculture is now considered to be more science-orientated than it once was and the latest developments in areas such as technology make it a hugely appealing subject area for college and university students.”

Many people started on a short course before progressing to a longer syllabus. It was a growing trend and fantastic to see more people appreciating the role agriculture played within the regional economy and beyond, said Dr Blackie.

“It is estimated that the industry needs an additional 60,000 people between 2010 and 2020 and employment opportunities are available in roles with advisers and suppliers, as well as buyers and processors, which all need a firm understanding of the industry.”

 

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