Hartpury University and College has been granted over £2 million in capital funding from the Department for Education, marking a significant investment in the future of agricultural education in Gloucestershire and beyond.
Funding Allocation and New T Level Courses
The funding will be utilized to renovate Hartpury’s workshop facilities and launch three new T Level courses in agriculture. These courses will cover areas such as land-based engineering, crop production, and livestock production, and are set to be available for the 2024/25 academic year.
Of the total funding, £1 million will be directed towards facility development, while £1.4 million will be allocated for the purchasing of specialist equipment for the T Level courses.
Introduction of T Levels
T Levels, introduced by the UK government, are new two-year, post-GCSE courses, broadly equivalent to three A Levels. They offer students a blend of theoretical and practical learning methods, ensuring a well-rounded education. At Hartpury, 80 per cent of contact time will be spent on-site, with the remaining 20 per cent, or at least 45 days, dedicated to workplace training.
Deputy Principal’s Statement
Deputy principal at Hartpury University College, Claire Whitworth, expressed the institution’s commitment to delivering unparalleled technical education through the funding. “By using the funding to refurbish two agricultural engineering workshops, it’ll help us to deliver unparalleled technical education to our students, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to forge successful careers and meet the many challenges faced by the agricultural industry,” Whitworth said.
She also emphasized Hartpury’s ongoing efforts to align its curriculum with industry needs and contribute to the growth and success of the agricultural sector in Gloucestershire and beyond.
Embracing Technological Developments
In addition to the funding, Hartpury has recently launched an agriculture digital studio, leveraging technological advancements to explore the future of the agriculture industry. This includes the use of augmented reality, simulators, and virtual reality headsets.
T Levels are being gradually implemented across the UK, with animal management and equine subjects still expected to be introduced at Hartpury.