Harper Adams University applications buck trend

College credits steady interest from students to the agricultural sector's high employment rates.

Harper Adams University College's courses are "full to bursting", according to the field trials officer Matt Rodenhurst.

"Even though increased fees are coming in next year, interest in open days is still high," he said. The response goes against the national trend, which has seen university applications fall by 15 per cent so far in an apparent reaction against the sharp rise in tuition fees.

Rodenhurst ascribed the steady attraction to the agriculture sector being seen as a safe bet in difficult times. "Applicants want confidence that they will get a job at the end of their studies and our graduate employment rate is the highest in the country," he said.

The college came top of a Higher Education Standards Authority survey on recruitment rates for students graduating in the past academic year, with 93.8 per cent.

Having a year out in industry "helps towards students' employability", Rodenhurst explained. "Companies are queuing up to take on sandwich-year students and they often go back to the same firm after graduating."

He added that the college's fresh produce training was very commercially minded under principal lecturer Dr Jim Monaghan, formerly of Marks & Spencer.

KeyStat

93.8% - Recruitment rate for graduates of Harper Adam University


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