Thursday, 29 February 2024 10:55

Massey's great offer to students

Written by  Peter Burke
Professor Paul Kenyon, head of the school of agriculture and environment at Massey University. Professor Paul Kenyon, head of the school of agriculture and environment at Massey University.

Massey University remains committed to educating New Zealand’s future primary industry leaders.

That’s the view of Professor Paul Kenyon, head of the school of agriculture and environment, who says undergraduate programmes across several disciplines are about to get underway for 2024 at the university.

But he says it’s not too late for new and returning students to enrol and the School of Agriculture and Environment at Massey offers a number of programmes. He says these include the traditional programmes of the Bachelor of Agricultural Science, Bachelor of Horticultural Science, Bachelor of Agribusiness and Bachelor of Animal Science and the strongly aligned Bachelor of Science programmes with majors in Environmental Science, Earth Science and Plant Science.

“Programmes and individual courses can be enrolled in internally, based on the Manawatu campus or via distance. Increasingly, Massey University is finding more students are enrolled part time or full time via the distance/online teaching modes, allowing the students to stay in their home region while working,” he says.

Kenyon says for many students, this is a great balance between gaining a tertiary education while being employed. He and his team are continually being contacted by industry looking for graduates to employ, into well paid positions.

Keynon says during the last 18 months the teaching team at Massey have been working closely with high school teachers to co-develop teaching resources for NCEA, which not only helps students understand concepts but also allows for an easier transition to tertiary education or directly into the workforce.

“Working with individual high school teachers and the Horticulture and Agriculture Teachers Association (HATA) has been positive for both groups. It has allowed his team to create new educational material that teachers need and can use, based on the new science that Massey is undertaking,” he says.

Kenyon says that the HATA teachers are passionate about providing an educational experience that helps encourage young people into the primary industries, and the teacher insights help ensure Massey staff are focusing on what is important.

He says there has also been interaction with teachers and students through in-school visits and hosting visits to Massey, which he says is committed to providing pathways for high school students into tertiary education.

“One way it does this, is through its more than $600,000 in scholarships it hands out each year, which can be found on its website,” he says.

Kenyon says university education should be led by research. He says Massey has several large industry-aligned research programmes underway that not only provide the cutting-edge education that students and industry need, but also allows students to get involved. He says the research at Massey aims to increase productivity and profitability of our primary industries, in a environmentally sustainable and animal friendly manner.

According to Kenyon, with appropriate research, these are all achievable and Massey is showing that this can be the case. An example of this is the Plantain Potency and Practice programme which aims to develop management strategies and demonstrate how plantain can be successfully integrated into farm systems. Kenyon says results from Massey have shown that plantain pastures can significantly reduce nitrate leaching and also reduce nitrous oxide emissions, while maintaining pasture and milk production.

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