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Partnership - Future Of Horticultural Education

New Partnership Secures Future Of Horticultural Education

A new partnership between New Zealand’s leading horticulture education and research organisations comes at a time when the future for horticulture is looking bright.

HortAlliance, a new concept in horticultural educational, a bold step to ensure there are qualified horticultural workers for the future has been taken by three top organisations. Massey University, the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) and HortResearch have combined forces to offer new options in horticultural education and a new approach to training for the industry.

The three organisations recognise that they have many complementary attributes that can be combined to ensure excellence in the delivery of education, research and technological services. HortAlliance offers the best educators available to provide flexible horticultural training from applied courses to advance tertiary qualifications. Based primarily in, butn ot restricted to the Hawke’s Bay region, this alliance provides benefitsf or collaboration and co-operation in education together with strong links to industry.

With its existing horticultural industries, Hawke’s Bay is ideally suited to be a centre for horticultural learning. HortAlliance will provide opportunities for anyone from school leavers and University undergraduates to those who already work in horticulture. Those who want a career change will also find advantages in flexible learning programmes and a wide range of course options.

“The coming together of Massey with EIT, and the leading industry research provider HortResearch will enable delivery of education services to meet the needs of industry now and in the future,” said Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor James McWha.

“The HortAlliance is a tremendous initiative that will enable students tos tudy horticulture seamlessly – from gaining on-orchard skills to post- graduate study. Each of the alliance partners will be able to call upon expertise offered in other organisations and we will be able to share knowledge and resources.”

Professor McWha said the horticulture industry is growing rapidly and is going to need more trained people, from technical specialists to researchers and orchard managers. “Through HortAlliance we can work with industry to ensure the future success of this exciting sector.”

“The purpose of the joint venture is to provide world-class education and learning opportunities in horticulture and the associated sciences,”a ccording to HortResearch’s CEO Dr Ian Warrington.

“This is a new initiative to build tertiary education programmes that area ppropriate to the future of horticulture in New Zealand. It is a new collaborative initiative targeted at meeting an unsatisfied need.

“There will be collaborative delivery of programmes from vocational ands kills training through to advanced tertiary qualifications. These coursesw ill not be restricted only to full-time students, but will provide one offt raining opportunities for those already working in the industry.

The Chief Executive of EIT, Bruce Martin welcomed the initiative and the particular focus on Hawke’s Bay.

“It will provide an excellent platform for EIT to deliver courses that are relevant and timely to industry and exciting to students,” he said.

Those organisations in the alliance are actively seeking other partnerships to ensure that students in regions such as the Bay of Plentyc an also access the new programmes. EIT is already networked to Charles Sturt University in Australia who provides professional programmes in viticulture and wine science to the HortAlliance.

This collaborative joint venture has secured the support of New Zealand’s horticultural industry who are seeking increasing number of skilled workers to cover expansion in a wide range of areas.

“The Federations are excited by this initiative,” said Sue Pickering,B usiness Manager of New Zealand Fruitgrowers Federation and Vegfed. “To maintain its uniqueness and its competitive edge New Zealand horticulture needs a highly skilled workforce and this partnership is a leading example of three organisations combining expertise and resource to do this.”

Ends

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