Lincoln University is celebrating its position at the nexus of agriculture and the environment with a raft of innovative new course major offerings, recognising a desire from students and industry for multi-disciplinary flexibility and the delivery of programmes cognisant of contemporary issues.
Students this year will be able to include a transferable environmental major in commerce, agricultural science and tourism degrees, ensuring they ready to meet the environmental challenges they will face in the future.
Chief academic Officer, Professor Bruce McKenzie, said the move showed Lincoln was "putting a stake in the ground and accepting responsibility for providing our new generations with the academic capacity to create and design solutions in the clash between agriculture, water, tourism and conservation".
"Students studying the Bachelor of Agricultural Science will be able to add breadth with a major in Environmental Management, making Lincoln the only university in the country that has this combination of academic achievement."
These additional course majors come after a ringing endorsement of Lincoln University's role in the national economy, in the recent Transformation Board report, with Chancellor Steve Smith saying it demonstrates how the University will be critical to delivering better outcomes in land, food and eco-systems into the future.
The report relates optimism for the future of Lincoln, and is enthusiastic about collaboration with Crown Research Institutions, industry bodies and other tertiary institutions.
It also aims it towards the rank of top five in the world in agricultural studies.
This comes as the University embarks upon a process of identifying core disciplines which better concentrate resources in research and teaching, and initiatives, grand challenges confronting society that Lincoln can tackle at a world-class level through a mix of disciplines and in strong collaboration with members of other institutions.
Student surveys indicated there was a realisation "Lincoln University could become known as the best university in the world to study primary industries and environmental protection side-by-side; to find a way to be good at agriculture and protect the environment."
The University is also giving more choice in its commerce offerings by adding separate majors in Supply Chain Management and Global Business.
The other transferable majors, which students studying for a Bachelor's degree can include to add depth to their qualification, are Event Management, Parks and Outdoor Recreation, Tourism Management and Water Management.
Lincoln industry research suggested the primary sector needs talented people with core and edge skills and research capability, while wider predictions estimate a net increase of 49,900 workers in the primary sector industry by 2025, with a much greater emphasis on qualified workers.
"This is all about providing students the ability to design their own options and also ensure that employers have students to hire with multi-disciplinary job ready capacity," said Professor McKenzie.
A series of new programmes is also introduced this year, to offer students more flexibility and individual course choices.
New programmes include:
• Master of Professional Accounting (CPA);
• Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture and Professional Accounting);
• Master of Business in Finance;
• Diploma in Organic Agri-Food Production.