CAN DUAL DEGREES HELP TO ARREST THE DECLINE IN TERTIARY ENROLMENTS IN HORTICULTURE: A CASE STUDY FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA

R.J. Collins, A.J. Dunne
Enrolments in agricultural and horticultural degrees around the world are declining. In Australia there is an estimated need for 2000 agricultural graduates in 2008 that will be met by a supply of 600-700 graduates. Enrolments in Agribusiness at the University of Queensland (UQ) have fallen by about 50% over five years and enrolments in horticulture have fallen to single figures. Paradoxically, the UQ Agribusiness curriculum in 2007 won a coveted national Carrick Award for university programs (across all disciplines) for its ability to meet the needs of industry and provide high quality learning experiences. Within the Agribusiness program the number of students undertaking dual degrees, which combine two three-year degrees in an integrated four year program, has increased from zero seven years ago to about half the first year enrolment in 2008. Students report that combining business and applied science degrees provides a more balanced educational experience, adds only one year to their studies, and significantly expands their employment options. Every Agribusiness degree student gets on-course international research experience, extensive industry exposure and the opportunity to study overseas for one semester as part of their degree. Tapping into the increasing interest in dual degrees by providing exciting, relevant international experiences could form part of a strategy through which to stem the decline in horticultural enrolments.
Collins, R.J. and Dunne, A.J. (2009). CAN DUAL DEGREES HELP TO ARREST THE DECLINE IN TERTIARY ENROLMENTS IN HORTICULTURE: A CASE STUDY FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA. Acta Hortic. 832, 65-70
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2009.832.8
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2009.832.8
education, horticulture, agribusiness, capstone courses, integration
English

Acta Horticulturae