Students from 10 schools in the Hume region have been given a taste of life at University of Melbourne’s Dookie Campus during the past three days.ELAINE COONEY September 4, 2014 3:19am
Career choices: Wodonga Senior College pair Cameron Smith and Cory Norie test milk for bacteria at University of Melbourne's Dookie Campus.
Students from Years 9 to 12 interested in careers in agriculture and environmental studies were given the opportunity to feed calves, make cheese, test soil and listen to lectures.
Campus head Ros Gall said the students had the chance to see the various activities the college offered, with the aim of encouraging tertiary participation of Hume students.
She said the college had only 20 students for the one-year Diploma in General Studies this year, but was hoping for up to 50 next year.
Ms Gall said the course guaranteed entry to bachelor degrees in Melbourne University — a pass allowed students to study a Bachelor of Agriculture, but higher scores opened the door to science and commerce degrees.
Ms Gall said she spoke to one of the visiting students at the university who changed his mind from pursuing a trade to taking up agriculture studies.
She said the college could not produce enough graduates for the jobs in agriculture, which range from genetic testing of animals to working in the agribusiness department of a bank.
She said many potential students were under the impression studying agriculture meant they would need to work on a farm, but many went into production roles.
The News caught up with some of the students at campus enjoying the activities.
Benalla P-12 College student Narissa Drane was patting a calf after feeding it and said it was the best part of the three-day experience.
She said she came unsure of what she wanted to study and was now considering studying agriculture.
Mansfield Secondary College student Taine Hollingdale, who completed a school-based apprenticeship that gave him a Certificate III in Agriculture, said he wanted to see what further study options were available.
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