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Title: From farming to farm holidays : the evolution of agricultural education and the specialist colleges in the UK
Author: Brook, Lesley Elisabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 5849
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
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The land-based sector has a unique history of specialised establishments providing education and training suitable for school children through to postgraduate students. The dominant provider has been and remains the specialist agricultural college of further education. Since the 1990s, this provision has changed substantially as a result of changes in the industry, to college governance, to educational policy, and the development of national skills policies. This study explored the ways in which the specialist colleges have responded to change and identifies the impact this has had on students, the curriculum, and the teaching staff. The thesis begins with a history of agricultural education in the UK and a critical review of the literature on changes to the industry. A mixed-method approach was used to gather data on the ways in which colleges have evolved. Interviews were conducted with key informants from the relevant national organisations involved in land-based education and training, and a desk survey was conducted with the 32 specialist colleges. Two colleges were selected for further research. A detailed case study of each college was developed from data collected through semi-structured interviews with key personnel, observations within the colleges, and analysis of key documents. The findings showed there were two main drivers of change in the colleges: a) change within the agricultural industry; and b) b) the incorporation of colleges in 1993 This study makes an original contribution to the literature on further education in the UK in general and on agricultural education in particular. Both areas are under researched and, to date, there has been no research on the way the specialist colleges have adapted and evolved. The thesis recommends that a professional body should be established to devise industry standards in order to enhance the professional status of the land-based industries, and improve their image and appeal to new entrants.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available