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Curtin becomes international agriculture hotspot

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Reinforcing Curtin University of Technology’s reputation as a centre of international education excellence, 41 Libyan students have begun a seven-month English and Agriculture course at the University’s Bentley and Muresk Campuses.

According to Curtin’s Head of School for Agriculture and Environment, Professor Graeme Robertson, the program, organised by the WA Department of Agriculture and Food and the Libyan Economic Development Board, is a great opportunity for everyone involved.

“Through projects such as this, we can build our own capacity to study important environmental issues while helping researchers from other countries do the same,” he said.

The students, all recent agricultural graduates, have been studying English as a second language and computer skills at Curtin’s Bentley Campus since June, and will be moving to the Muresk Campus in Northam for agricultural training in early August.

“The choice of Curtin highlights the University’s international reputation,” Professor Robertson said.

“This program builds on Curtin’s established expertise and experience in training scientists in dry land agriculture.

“It follows a program run over the last three years, in which 126 staff from the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture have undertaken agricultural and English language training at Curtin.”

The current cohort of international students comprises agriculture graduates from the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi.

Mrs Dallas Ledsham, Associate Lecturer at Curtin’s English Language Centre, said the course allowed the students to build their English language skills.

“What they learn here will assist them in their day-to-day activities when they return to Libya to work in the Ministry for Agriculture, Animal and Marine Wealth,” she said.

“It will also provide a small number of selected trainees with the opportunity to undertake postgraduate studies in an English speaking country.”

According the Mrs Ledsham, the opportunity to work with this diverse group of students has been a pleasure for all involved.

“All of the students have been extremely friendly and outgoing,” she said.

Professor Robertson said the program provided Australian students and academics with the chance to build relationships with colleagues in a country which was an important market for WA agricultural products.

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