STUDENTS wanting to study agriculture will soon be able to do so at both ends of the state as part of a major shift for the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture From 2024.
TIA headquarters will be in Launceston and starting next year students can enrol and complete bachelor degrees in Agricultural Science at both Launceston and Hobart campuses.
TIA interim director Michael Rose said the organisation’s undergraduate courses were currently almost entirely based in Hobart.
“By offering the Bachelor of Agricultural Science both in Launceston and Hobart, we hope to remove some of the barriers to study that may arise through geographic location, and continue to deliver quality agricultural research, industry development, and education to the entire state,” Professor Rose said.
“This is an exciting new phase for TIA as its education opportunities will be broadened to meet the strong job prospects for our graduates.”
TIA will be located oncampus at Newnham and Willis St, the University of Tasmania’s new site that will focus on science, food, allied health, nursing and physical education.
The relocation is a staged process between now and 2024 that will see some of TIA’s learning and teaching staff begin to transition north.
“The existing infrastructure at Newnham will be ready for the students in Launceston from 2022,” Prof Rose said.
“As we move toward 2024, and as we grow our student numbers, so will the infrastructure.”
However, he said the TIA would remain a statewide institution with staff and students at nine locations across Tasmania.
These are at Sandy Bay and New Town in Hobart, Cambridge, Cressy, Newnham, Mt Pleasant, Forthside, Burnie, and Elliott.
However the bulk of the staff will be in Launceston. Current students in Hobart will have the option to continue their studies in Hobart, while research and post graduate training are undertaken at all three campuses.
“We are in an especially exciting time to study and work within the agriculture sector in Tasmania,” Prof Rose said.
Tasmania’s farmgate value has grown by a compound 6.5 per cent in the 10 years to the 2018-2019 financial year.
“The North-West Coast, in particular, boasts a well established agriculture industry,” Prof Rose said.
“It is a hugely important contributor to the state as it contains 36 per cent of all farm businesses in Tasmania,” he said.
“More than one third of the state’s gross annual production in 2018-2019 came from the North-West, with dairy and potatoes the most important commodities.”
Prof Rose said moving the TIA headquarters to the North would create a strong science program to support industry and science skills and maximise the impact across food industry value chains.