Agriculture in decline at Australian Universities

James Pratley, Roger Leigh

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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    Industry is calling for more agricultural graduates to meet the workforce needs of the sector. This need is particularly acute in rural locations. The prospects for meeting this need are not encouraging as student demand for agricultural courses is not strong.There has been a decline of more than 18% in student enrolments in agricultural courses in Australian universities in the period 2001-2006 according to official government statistics. This follows a decline in the previous period. Australia is well served in the availability of providers with 12 universities offering agriculture courses either in the science/technology area or in agribusiness. All institutions have significant capacity to increase intakes if warranted by student demand. The reality however is that enrolments have declined to the extent that continued provision may be jeopardised at some universities. Students have a wide choice of courses and agriculture has to compete with other disciplines that are seen as more exciting or rewarding. The perceived image of agriculture is not positive and needs to be addressed if the current trends in agricultural education are to be reversed. A concerted effort by all stakeholders with an interest in agriculture is needed. This should emphasise the specific and generic educational value of degrees in agriculture and show that attractive employment opportunities are, and will continue to be, available to graduates from these programs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication14th AAC
    Subtitle of host publicationGlobal issues. Paddock action
    EditorsM. Unkovich
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherThe Regional Institute Ltd.
    Number of pages3
    ISBN (Electronic)1920842349
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    Event14th Australian Agronomy Conference - Adelaide, Australia
    Duration: 21 Sept 200825 Sept 2008


    Conference14th Australian Agronomy Conference


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