NZ’s primary sector graduates

A record number of qualifications related to New Zealand’s important land-based industries will be awarded at Lincoln University’s 2008 Graduation Ceremony in Christchurch Town Hall on Friday 4 April.

From a total of 725 degrees, diplomas and certificates, a 10-year high of over 26 percent relate to areas such as agriculture, viticulture, wine science, food science, horticulture, farm management, forestry and organic husbandry.

“The increase in qualifications connected to New Zealand’s primary industry sector is good news for New Zealand’s land-based economy,” says Vice-Chancellor Professor Roger Field.

“It clearly reflects the breadth of employment opportunities which characterises the sector today and the range of associated careers we prepare people for at Lincoln University – from on-the-land producers, to research scientists, industry consultants and advisers, to agribusiness personnel, bankers and specialists in many other allied areas.

“The primary sector is now vast and complex with an immense variety of satisfying and financially rewarding career choices open to those with appropriate tertiary qualifications.

“Also good news is an increase in qualifications being awarded specifically in the physical and applied sciences – up 3% on last year to more than 22% of our total. Postgraduate qualifications are up by the same amount too, equalling 22% of the total (which) includes 21 PhDs.”

Also being awarded at the ceremony for the first time is the honorary degree, Doctor of Social Science honoris causa. The recipient is former international opera singer and past CEO of New Zealand Cricket Christopher Doig of Christchurch. Since standing down from NZ Cricket, Doig has been involved in sports marketing and sponsorship and he has recently returned to the world of opera as executive chair of the new Christchurch-based company, Southern Opera.

The honorary degree Doctor of Science honoris causa will be conferred on Christchurch businessman Graham Kitson, Chairman of the JATRA Group of companies, who has combined science and business in an outstanding enterprise marketing New Zealand food products in Japan. A Lincoln University alumnus whose whakapapa is Ngai Tahu, Kitson has also been involved in assisting a number of Maori trusts and incorporations with business and export development.

The 75th award of the University’s prestigious Bledisloe Medal, for alumni and staff who have advanced the interests of New Zealand, will be made to Hawkes Bay farmer/agribusinessman Sam Robinson, a past Chairman of the Hawkes Bay meat company Richmond Ltd (now amalgamated with PPCS) and past winner of the Hawkes Bay Farmer of the Year title.

The University’s Alumni International Medal, for international alumni who have advanced the interests of their home countries, will be awarded to Giles Rowsell of Hampshire, England, a prominent farmer, chair of farmer organisations and lobbyist for farmer interests in the United Kingdom. In addition to farming, Rowsell is a prominent figure in British equestrian eventing and was Competition Controller for Eventing at the Atlanta and Athens Olympic Games.

The Lincoln University Graduation ceremony starts at 2.00pm and, weather permitting, will be preceded by an academic procession through central Christchurch from the Arts Centre to the Town Hall.

The ceremony will be presided over by the Chancellor of Lincoln University Tom Lambie, himself a Lincoln graduate.

For further information contact:

Ian Collins

Communications Group, Lincoln University, Canterbury

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