Plumpton College announces new university partnership

Plumpton College and the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) have announced a new partnership aimed at enhancing university education, research and consultancy for the land-based sector in the South East, with wine-related courses kicking off the duo’s 2018 schedule.   

The RAU will oversee validation of Plumpton College degree courses in a partnership that aims to “deliver graduates with the knowledge, skills and attributes to lead industry-wide innovation and to inform policy”.

In addition, the first programmes that the RAU will ‘certificate’, running from September 2018, are all wine-related courses: FdA Wine Business; BA (Hons) International Wine Business FdSc Wine Production’ BSc (Hons) Viticulture & Oenology and MSc Viticulture & Oenology.

Jeremy Kerswell, principal, Plumpton College, said: “When researching what it understood of the land-based sector, career prospects and earning potential, we found that people had little knowledge of the range of careers available, and where a degree from an agricultural University or college could lead them. We are keen to attract more students into the sector, and challenge some of the perceptions people have about land-based courses only suiting students who have grown up in the countryside.

“One of the first exciting joint initiatives of the partnership is going to be a summer school for A-level and college students in the south east, hosted at the Royal Agricultural University and part-funded by the national Collaborative Outreach Programme, to raise awareness of the range of land-based courses and careers available to graduates and to encourage participation in higher education.

Professor Joanna Price, vice chancellor, Royal Agricultural University, said: “We know that the sector is going to need at least 595,000 highly skilled new entrants to meet current demand. Our impending EU exit may also increase this number. We work closely with the industries we serve to ensure that the degrees we offer will be providing businesses with graduates that have the skills and business acumen to meet the employers’ needs.”

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