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The education year is in full swing as Telford, a division of Lincoln University, offers a diploma in agriculture for the first time.
Students had arrived on the campus, near Balclutha, to begin studies, and student enrolments for agriculture and apiculture courses had dramatically increased, a school spokeswoman said.
Telford student recruitment officer Suzanne Carruth said the Lincoln diploma in agriculture now offered at Telford was big news for the education provider.
''Students either enter the diploma year following their certificate [in agriculture] year or, based on their academic output from secondary school, may have direct entry,'' she said.
Smaller classes, with a maximum of 22 students accepted, would ensure a low student-teacher ratio and students could bring a dog, something they would greatly appreciate, Ms Carruth said.
Telford senior tutor Dave Clark said Telford was excited to be able to offer the diploma and it would open doors for students in their future career pathways. The certificate in agriculture course, based in Balclutha, began in early February with increased numbers, as did the certificate in apiculture (beekeeping), based in Kaitaia, Northland.
Ms Carruth said due to the high quality of the manuka honey produced in Northland, Telford beehives were moved there last winter.
Other news from the school included the announcement of a new scholarship to be available from 2015. Made available by the Peter Wilding Estate, the scholarship would assist a Southland or Wakatipu Basin student by providing full fees for studies in agriculture. Ms Carruth said the scholarship would be available for certificate or diploma in agriculture students who were doing well in their studies and in financial need.
This year, students came from as far afield as Japan, Papua New Guinea, the Chatham Islands and Waiheke Island, Ms Carruth said. A trend in 2014 was an increasing number of students in their 20s and early 30s who were looking for a change in career, further changing the student profile.
- by Leith Huffadine