Industry consultation on future courses

The Australian National University (ANU) is currently developing an Agriculture Innovation and Food Systems Education Program.

As part of this development, we want to work with key players in Australian Agriculture, so that we can design and implement a responsive program that produces graduates who can service industry’s current and future needs. The information below describes our vision for the degree, and outlines several ways we are hoping you will consider joining us on this journey.

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About the program

At ANU we want to teach Ag differently. Instead of training traditional agriculture graduates, we want to attract talent from traditionally “non-agricultural disciplines” and sectors, and teach them how to apply their existing expertise to agri-food challenges.

We are designing our program to engage future students from diverse disciplines, professional fields and industry experiences, because the core ethos of our new program is that interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving are essential to solving agriculture’s future challenges.

The agri-food sector will require new skills, perspectives and approaches to problem solving because the challenges of the future are unlikely to be the same as those of the past. In order to adapt to and thrive in an increasingly complex and interconnected operating environment, industry will need to capture the opportunity offered by new technological advances, including those developed in other sectors.

Currently, ANU offers a breadth of expertise in research and education through our research teams and university partnerships. We also deliver bespoke courses to train your staff in areas such as policy, leadership, framework development, effective communication, working in interdisciplinary teams, interpreting scientific research, and a range of other topics. But we seek to expand this education by inviting you to help us shape the future of students entering your industry.

Key elements of the education program include:

  • Core agricultural systems subjects embedded in a “real-world” context to provide ‘problem set context’ to students to encourage multi-disciplinary problem solving.
  • Systems thinking to develop interdisciplinary skills in problem definition and solving.
  • Design thinking and user-centric approach to problem solving, to ensure solutions are fit for purpose and deliver impact through adoption.
  • Internships and professional practice courses to immerse students in industry, gaining deeper understanding of the practical implications of research translation and barriers to impact.
  • Courses to develop leadership and communication skills critical for translating ideas into impact.
  • Research methodology courses to ensure the student’s practical experience has a strong methodological underpinning and is evidence based.

Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will have developed the ability to apply innovative multi-disciplinary solutions to food and agricultural system problems.

We are confident that our new Program will successfully produce “job-ready” graduates who will be able to make a significant positive contribution to Australian agriculture and food industries.

The Ag Innovation Program will be complemented by a ‘Food Systems’ Program in 2022. Course development is being led by the newly established ANU Food and Agricultural Systems Group. Some information about this group is attached.

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Getting involved

Our priority is delivering our funding to serve the needs of Agricultural industries. We are seeking your insights and help to ensure our students are job-ready.

To register your interest in this consultation process, please email [email protected].