FE agriculture students gained an insight into the world of Higher Education from their peers in an innovative progression event being trialed for the first time in college.

The panel take questions from students

The Further Education to Higher Education Progression morning was run by our BSc (Hons) Agricultural Business Management undergraduates, who introduced the students to the projects they are completing this year. The ten undergraduates were joined by alumni from previous years, who gave presentations highlighting how the knowledge and experience gained during their degree studies had helped them forge successful careers.

Over 70 FE students attended the event – the majority  current Level 3 Diploma in Agriculture students who are soon to decide on their next step into higher education or employment.

The BSc undergraduates had been challenged to deliver this event as part of one of their modules, so it delivered two useful purposes in one go. While the FE students were introduced to the different teaching style and higher level of independent study required for our degrees, the undergraduates benefitted from the confidence gained from presenting in front of an audience. This will be of huge benefit to them in job interviews and work presentations.

The presenting undergraduates were:

  • Ryan Dakin and Ashleigh Burbidge: Compact feeding – is chop length important to the function of a cow’s rumen or is it the structure of the fibre that matters?
  • Rachel Armour: Hybrid sheep breeding
  • Laura Gray: Evaluating the potential for the use of genetics to increase resistance to Bovine Tb in cattle
  • Larry Anscombe: Farm robotics
  • Lizzy Mercer: Methionine supplementation in dairy cow rations
  • Matt Scott: Dairy cow nutrition and the effect on claw health
  • George Browne: Genetic modification
  • Holly McCall: TB advantage and the new genetic index
  • Claire Revell: Glyphosate and neonicotinoids – their effect on the environment and human health.

Opening the event, Curriculum Area Manager for Higher Education Jane Richardson reminded attendees that University Centre Reaseheath offers a very different culture and ethos compared to most other universities because of its emphasis on vocational training and employability.

To enable undergraduates to continue in paid work alongside their studies, our degrees in agriculture are condensed into two days a week. This offers the same contact hours as a full time course but allows undergraduates to grow their practical experience by remaining in employment. The course content is aimed at turning out young professionals with skills in economics and business and people management – the attributes they need to run a farm business.

Rounding up, FE Course Manager and HE Lecturer Will Astley said: “As a department we hope that a progression event delivered by peers will give a fresh perspective to potential applicants for the coming year. As far as we know it’s the first event of its kind put on by any curriculum area across college.  It’s been a great success and we are certainly looking to grow and develop the event for the future.”