Dairy grad­u­ate school set to boost in­dus­try

South Waikato News - - OPINION -

A new grad­u­ate school spe­cial­is­ing in dairy re­search and in­no­va­tion is to be es­tab­lished to boost New Zealand’s high­est­value ex­port in­dus­try.

DairyNZ, Live­stock Im­prove­ment Cor­po­ra­tion and AgRe­search, along with Auck­land Univer­sity, have an­nounced the school as a joint ini­tia­tive.

AgRe­search chief ex­ec­u­tive Dr Tom Richard­son said im­prov­ing the num­ber and cal­i­bre of grad­u­ates en­ter­ing the dairy in­dus­try would pay huge div­i­dends.

The Crown re­search in­sti­tute re­cruits more than two-thirds of its sci­en­tists overseas be­cause of the short­age of lo­cal grad­u­ates. ‘‘This ini­tia­tive is a sig­nif­i­cant move to­wards re­dress­ing that,’’ he said.

DairyNZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Tim Mackle said the sec­tor needed top-qual­ity grad­u­ates, with ed­u­ca­tion and skills that were di­rectly rel­e­vant to the in­dus­try.

The school will be based at the univer­sity’s Auck­land City cam­pus. Sci­ence dean Grant Guil­ford said its ur­ban base would en­able ur­banru­ral is­sues to be dis­cussed and bet­ter un­der­stood.

Dis­ci­plines will range from those that con­trib­ute to sus­tain­able pro­duc­tiv­ity to those that add value be­yond the farm gate.

The school is aim­ing for at least 50 Masters and PhD stu­dents by 2015.

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