More women favour agri-college courses

More women are enrolling for agriculture and land-based courses than five years ago, according to a straw poll conducted by Farmers Weekly.

The University of Wales’ colleges at Aberystwyth and Bangor and the Scottish Agricultural College report a significant increase in the intake of women students.

Female students enrolling for agricultural and forestry science courses at Bangor rose by 11% to 37% in 2005 compared with 26% in 2000.

At Aberystwyth female students accounted for 42% of the intake for agriculture-related courses in 2006 compared with 33% in 1996.

The college’s co-ordinator of agricultural courses, Iwan Owen, said: “More women seem to be attracted to our course on agriculture with countryside management geared to meeting environmental scheme and cross-compliance requirements.”

Gary Wallis, education/information manager for the Scottish Agricultual College, added: “Although agricultural courses are still dominated by men, more women are taking part in courses involving rural diversification and land use.”

A spokesman for Nottingham University said the gender balance had moved slightly in favour of women.