Horticulture courses axed at Hartpury College

Hartpury College is closing its horticulture courses with the loss of three lecturing jobs, but Landex chief executive and Hartpury governor Chris Moody said it does not indicate a sign of poor uptake by students this year.

Three horticulture teachers are being laid off after the college decided not to recruit students for 2012-13. Existing courses will continue until their "natural conclusion", said Hartpury representative David Penney.

"Demand for places on horticultural courses has been low and the pressures of the current economic climate have made this hard decision necessary."

But Moody said nationwide recruitment is the best for several years. "This is simply local circumstances. Hartpury is close to Pershore College," he added. "Many institutions are reporting applications are up this year. The Grow initiative has promoted courses. In the current climate, areas where there's real employment tend to be more attractive."

Hartpury, in Gloucestershire, runs six level two and three other courses in work-based landscape, production and sports turf horticulture.

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