The number of students choosing to study agriculture in higher education has shown a marked increase over the past two years, a report shows.

Figures released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show that agriculture courses have seen the biggest increase in UK university enrolments compared with other subject choices.

Agriculture and related subjects saw an 11% increase in undergraduate students and a 2% rise in postgraduate students between 2008/10 and 2010/11. 

By comparison subjects including education, languages and architecture saw declines in student numbers of up to 6%, the report says.

The increases have been achieved even though the total number of degree-level enrolments at UK universities and other higher education institutions have remained static.

A spokeswoman for Harper Adams University College, Shropshire, said that its intake for October 2011 reached its highest ever level.

“A total of 176 students, started courses at the college in 2011 that is an increase of 21% on the previous year, and 60% higher than the intake five years ago, in 2006,” she said.

“The University College believes that the trend will continue with applications for 2012 entry to agriculture, food and animals courses already ahead of those made for 2011,” the spokeswoman added.

You can see the full report and tables on the HESA website