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Published: 20 Aug 2021

In a move that is designed to see more students studying closer to home, the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) will be headquartered in Launceston from 2024.

From 2022, students can enrol and complete degrees in Bachelor of Agricultural Science at both Launceston and Hobart campuses.

“TIA’s undergraduate courses are almost entirely delivered out of Hobart,” Professor Michael Rose, Interim Director, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, said.

“By offering the Bachelor of Agricultural Science both to Launceston and Hobart, we hope to remove some of the barriers to study that may arise through geographic location, and continue to deliver quality agricultural research, industry development and education to the entire state.

“This is an exciting new phase for TIA as its education opportunities will be broadened to meet the strong job prospects for our graduates.

TIA will be located on campus at Newnham (where purpose-built infrastructure will be created), and Willis St - the University of Tasmanian’s new academic building with a focus on science, food, allied health, nursing, and physical education.

The relocation is a staged process between now and 2024, that will see some of TIA’s learning and teaching staff begin to transition north. “The existing infrastructure at Newnham will be ready for the students in Launceston from 2022,” Professor Rose said.

“As we move toward 2024, and as we grow our student numbers, so will the infrastructure.” TIA will remain a state-wide institution - with staff and students at nine locations across Tasmania: Sandy Bay, New Town, Cambridge, Cressy, Newnham, Mt Pleasant, Forthside, Burnie, and Elliott - but the bulk of the staff will be in Launceston.

Current students in Hobart will have the option to continue their studies in Hobart, while research and post graduate training are undertaken at all three campuses. “We are in an especially exciting time to study and work within the agriculture sector in Tasmania,” Professor Rose said.

“Tasmania’s agriculture industry is flourishing, and the State Government has an ambitious goal to grow the annual value of the Tasmania’s agriculture to $10 billion by 2050.” Tasmania’s farmgate value has grown by a compound 6.5% in the 10 years to 2018- 19. This rate has outstripped the average rate of growth in the state of 1.64%, which means agriculture is becoming a larger part of the Tasmanian economy.

“The North-West Coast in particular, boasts a well-established agriculture industry,” Professor Rose said.

“It is a hugely important contributor to the state as it contains 36 per cent of all farm businesses in Tasmania. More than one third of the state’s gross annual production in 2018-19 came from the north-west, with dairy and potatoes the most important commodities.

“Headquartering TIA in the north creates a strong science program to support industry and science skills and maximise our impact across food industry value chains.”

TIA will continue to embed existing industry ties, offering courses which are relevant to regional future social and economic needs and sharpening our research focus.

TIA is a joint venture of the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government.