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Northumberland College and Newcastle University team up to provide progression to higher level study

Northumberland College and Newcastle University team up to provide progression to higher level study  
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Northumberland College has launched a prestigious new partnership with Newcastle University and land-based foundation degrees validated by Newcastle University are now available at the Kirkley Hall campus.

Qualifications on offer include foundation science degrees in Applied Animal Management, Equestrian Performance and Coaching, Horticulture and Arboriculture.

 

A total of 44 students enrolled on land-based foundation degrees this year, all progressing from previous study at the college.

 

More courses have been approved and will be introduced from September 2016. These include foundation science degrees in Agriculture, Rural Tourism and Enterprise Management and Environmental Conservation.

 

The new courses provide a seamless progression route to higher level qualifications, which means Northumberland College students can progress on to foundation science degrees while still studying at Northumberland College. The new qualifications will replace land-based HNCs/HNDs in 2016/17.

 

After completing the two year foundation degree, students may then choose to progress to Newcastle University to continue their undergraduate studies and gain an honours degree.

 

Marcus Clinton, Northumberland College's Principal, said: "I am delighted to see these cutting edge foundation degrees get underway after a lot of hard work between the University and the College.

 

"Both partners have always been keen to expand the range of higher education provision available in these areas, making great use of a wealth of staff expertise and specialist resources.

 

"These courses will provide more progression opportunities for those at Level 3, allowing them to stay locally, as well as providing great opportunities for employers and employees to update their professional knowledge and expertise."

 

Professor Rob Edwards, Head of the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development at Newcastle University, said: "This exciting development means that students and staff at both institutions will have access to a broader range of teaching and research facilities. This not only makes degree-level qualifications more available to students who want to pursue a career in this growing area, it also enables the University to extend its world-leading expertise in agricultural science and farm management." 

 

The partnership allows the University to use Northumberland College's facilities and the college's staff and students can use Newcastle University amenities. Students on the new foundation degrees will be registered as Newcastle University students, meaning that they will have full access to the University's support services - including library and study resources, careers advice and student wellbeing support.

 

Northumberland College has two commercially-run farms - Kirkley Hall, near Ponteland, and Carlcroft, in the Cheviot Hills. The two contrasting settings give students experience of lowland and upland farming, and provide opportunities to gain knowledge of arable farming and working with sheep, cattle, pigs and poultry. Kirkley Hall has just undergone a £3m re-development as part of the college's recent £10m campus investment programme. New facilities include state-of-the-art arboriculture, countryside and machinery workshops and a brand-new education block with eight classrooms and an IT suite.

 

Newcastle University has farms at Cockle Park and Nafferton Farm, in Northumberland, both of which are used for teaching and research.

Cockle Park farm has arable and animal resources, including pigs, dairy and beef. It also has a variety of arable cropping and grassland trials and a number of laboratories for research.

 

Activities at Nafferton farm include dairy, beef production, arable cropping and small-scale vegetable production.

 

Half of Nafferton's land is farmed organically, with the other half farmed using conventional husbandry. Additionally, half of Nafferton's dairy herd was certified organic in 2006. New facilities installed at the farm enable the two herds to be managed concurrently and milked simultaneously, aiding comparison between them.

 

Victoria Harris, 19, of Washington, Tyne and Wear, is studying towards an FdSc in Equestrian Coaching and Performance.

 

She completed her Level Three Extended Diploma in Horse Management at Northumberland College last year.

 

Victoria said: "I feel access to the facilities at Newcastle University will assist me greatly with my studies.

 

"The library facilities and broader range of resources will help me when it comes to writing my assignments throughout the FdSc.

 

"Being able to study at a higher level at Kirkley Hall is convenient and I feel the campus has a lot to offer.

 

"I feel that because my course is validated by the university, it gives the qualification greater status as Newcastle University is a well-known, reputable, red brick university."

 

The new degree paths have been introduced in part to encourage more young people to enter the agricultural and land management sectors. The number of people, aged 65-plus, is set to increase by 60 per cent by 2035 with the number of working age adults falling steadily over the same period, which could result in significant skills shortages.

The sector is forecast to need 595,000 entrants between now and 2020. This includes 447,000 workers to replace those leaving through retirement, according to national training and qualification body Lantra.

 

There is a shortage of workers with soil management and crop production skills, horticulture, landscape architecture and land-based engineering skills. There is also an urgent need for young people to enter fisheries management.

 

Anyone wishing to find out more about the new courses should visit www.kirkley.ac.uk and those wishing to learn more about Newcastle University should go to www.ncl.ac.uk