Agriculture students will not be disadvantaged by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture relocating to Launceston, and courses remain statewide.
UTAS vice-chancellor Rufus Black announced on Tuesday that TIA would relocate its headquarters over the next three to five years.
It will also establish a professional services centre and result in more than 200 jobs relocating from Hobart to Launceston.
TIA director Mike Rose said UTAS committed to an immersive experience for all its students, which is why the relocation North makes sense.
“We intend to deliver an immersive educational experience to our students, leveraging the industry that is located near to Launceston, along with the world-leading research that TIA conducts,” he said.
Professor Rose said the move would ensure researchers and students would be closer to the where the bulk of agricultural production was in Tasmania.
“Agriculture as a discipline is extensive: everything from ruminant nutrition to agronomy, entomology to business planning. The offering in TIA packages this for our students in a way that is extremely well connected with industry and allows our graduates to be job-ready, leading to well-paid jobs,” he said.
Professor Rose said students would not be impacted negatively.
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“Nevertheless, agriculture as a discipline will still be delivered in Hobart as well as Launceston, through a combination of face-to-face teaching and online delivery, and this will be enabled by lecturing staff who are based in Hobart,” he said.
TIA in Launceston will operate at both the Newnham campus and Inveresk. The Willis St building, the third stage of the build,will include state-of-the-art food systems laboratories.
However, Professor Rose said UTAS was in the early stages of planning and consultation for new facilities at Newnham.
The announcement was met with scepticism from the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, who hoped to get more details.
However, Professor Black maintained the move was about ensuring the university could deliver for its domestic students.
“This is about delivering on our mission to be a university for Tasmania – that means providing more opportunities for Tasmanians to study closer to home, better aligning our research and teaching to support regional needs and strengths, and ensuring our presences in all parts of the state are strong, vibrant and sustainable,” he said.