Education: Cultivating a Future at Greenmount

Article excerpt

ONE of the new challenges facing agriculture and the food industry in the new millennium will be the increasing role of information technology in all aspects of production. E-business by farmers, processors and retailers is increasing dramatically, as is the introduction of computerised management information systems.

In addition, computer controlled tractors, fully automated robotic milking units, computer controlled environments for livestock and electronic livestock identification systems will become common place.

Such developments need highly skilled technicians to develop and support these hardware and software systems as well as people capable to developing effective websites and e-commerce operations. To meet this need Greenmount is offering a new Foundation degree in Information technology (Agri-Food) in partnership with the University of Ulster.

The course will cover all of the main topics taught in a standard IT HND or degree programme within the overall context of agriculture or food production. The current facilities available at Greenmount and those planned for 2002 will ensure that students have the most-up-to-date IT resources available. With an eye on the future, a work placement opportunity within the programme will give graduates valuable employment experience when it comes to finding a job.

Value for Money Accommodation

All Higher Education has a cost. Tuition fees are only one aspect to consider. Students (and parents!) must also balance the cost of living, travelling and accommodation expenses at their chosen college against the quality of education on offer. Many students in the past have found that courses based in mainland colleges have proved to be expensive.

Greenmount not only offers high quality education but also high quality accommodation in the form of single study en suite bedrooms within a self contained village which houses up to 24 students in two separate buildings. The houses include full self catering facilities, living room with TV, video and laundry facilities. Those who can't cook/won't cook can use the excellent refectory facilities available on site. This quality accommodation is currently available for around pounds 5 per night (accommodation only basis), substantially less than similar accommodation at other institutions. …