Charles Sturt University (CSU) has moved to end concern within the ranks of the NSW Farmers’ Association about the University’s commitment to quality agricultural education for regional and rural Australia following the announcement that CSU is to strategically re-position its agricultural programs at the Wagga Wagga and Orange Campuses.
The NSW Farmers’ Association yesterday passed a resolution at its annual conference in Sydney stating; Delegates are concerned by reports that agriculture-related courses may no longer be taught at Charles Sturt University’s Orange Campus, with reports that these courses would be relocated to Wagga Wagga.
CSU Acting Dean of Science, Professor Nick Klomp says that the NSW Farmers’ Association can be assured that both the Wagga Wagga and Orange Campuses will maintain a strong focus on agricultural and horticultural research and education”.
He assured the association that under the CSU proposal, the Schools of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences on CSU Wagga Wagga Campus, Wine and Food Science also at Wagga Wagga and Rural Management at Orange Campus will be merged into two new schools which will ensure agriculture is maintained at both campuses:
- the School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences; and
- the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences.
The proposed new schools will consolidate the University’s considerable agricultural expertise around the two major areas of plant science and management and animal science and management. The new schools will work collaboratively to expand agricultural education and research under the umbrella of CSU’s Faculty of Science at both the Wagga Wagga and Orange campuses.
This restructure and refocus ensures the on-going commitment to the agricultural industry out of Orange.
The University established the Agricultural Review Advisory Committee (ARAC), chaired by Professor Nick Klomp in May 2007 to review its agricultural schools in light of a downturn in enrolments in agricultural programs in all Australian universities.
Professor Klomp has assured the NSW Farmers’ Association, saying “The role of the agricultural industries in rural communities and regional towns and cities must not be underestimated. Agriculture is the mainstay for entire communities, through population sustainability, attracting other industries and organisations to inland towns, and in many other ways. CSU will continue its role as Australia’s national inland university, and plans to foster growth in agricultural education and research thereby underpinning the work and sustainability of entire communities”.