From adversity comes strength: Repositioning education in agriculture

James Pratley, Tina L Botwright Acuña

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

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Much has been written about the decline in agriculture graduate numbers over recent times and the shortages created in the market place. At the same time, there has been an increased urgency towards professionalising the industry – a focus on education and training, a desire to improve the image of the sector, a move towards social licence and greater engagement with future opportunities, challenges and needs. This paper takes a fresh approach to these issues; drawing together the less commonly reported data on student enrolments in agriculture, the distortions created by misunderstanding course classification data and the emerging focus on learning and teaching academic standards in tertiary education. Decline in enrolments from 2001 has resulted in massive loss of income to university departments with commensurate contraction of academic staff numbers and expertise. The decline has now been addressed although it remains work in progress. The development of a national Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Statement (LTAS) for university Agriculture (AgLTAS) represents a significant positive step that engaged academic, student and industry stakeholders in its development. We expect that the AgLTAS statement will facilitate the implementation of academic standards by the agriculture discipline community, inform curriculum design, assist in identifying marketing opportunities for degrees and contribute to the further professionalization of agriculture.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication17th Proceedings of the Australian Agronomy Conference
Place of PublicationWarragul; Victoria; Australia
PublisherAustralian Society for Agronomy
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event17th Australian Agronomy Conference - Wrest Point Convention Centre , Hobart, Australia
Duration: 20 Sep 201524 Sep 2015


Conference17th Australian Agronomy Conference
Abbreviated titleBuilding Productive, Diverse and Sustainable Landscapes
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