Christchurch is well known for its resilience, its “garden city” aesthetic, its strong balanced economy and as a go-to tourism destination. Something often not as well recognised about Christchurch and wider Canterbury is its integral role in the country’s agri-business sector, not only on a local level, but nationally and globally.
One institution often seen as the backbone of Canterbury, and New Zealand’s, agri-business industry is Lincoln University. For more than 138 years Lincoln University has focused on improving the country’s agricultural knowledge, wealth and productivity.
With a diverse student population of approximately 3500, from more than 60 different countries, Lincoln has built a reputation as an international leader in education, targeted at the growth and development of our primary production, the distribution sector and a range of related fields.
New Zealand’s largest land-based university, Lincoln is ranked 343 in the global ranking of tertiary institutions and number 100 when that field is narrowed to the disciplines of agriculture and forestry.
Lincoln is the country’s third-oldest university, founded in 1878 as a School of Agriculture, linked to Canterbury College. By 1896, the school separated from the college and formed its own governing body, which gave it the ability to award degrees through the University of New Zealand. In the early 1960s the university was officially renamed Lincoln College, a constituent college of the University of Canterbury. It became a self-governing institution in 1990.
Lincoln University has continuously adapted in order to better meet the needs of the modern commercial environment and the ever-changing agri-business sector. Courses have been structured to teach students the skills they need to operate in an increasingly specialised sector, now and in the future, and encompass practical skills as well as up-to-date knowledge of management and industry practices.
Lincoln offers a number of research-based programmes within its main campuses, many of which also extend to the university’s various farm portfolios. Lincoln offers hands on practical learning in food marketing, commerce, environmental management, landscape architecture, viticulture, tourism and property management. Research is a key aspect in every discipline and underpins its current mission – to help feed the world, protect the future and live well.
It is estimated that within the next 35 years the world’s population will reach 9.2 billion people, meaning food supply and production will be paramount, as too will be creating a sustainable environment for future generations. Lincoln’s ability to train the future leaders and innovators in this space, taking on the key problems faced by the world, will be integral to keeping Canterbury and New Zealand at the forefront of international agri-business.
In order to continue to produce top-quality graduates Lincoln has developed the Lincoln Hub (He Puna Karikari) in partnership with AgResearch, Landcare Research, Plant and Food Research and DairyNZ. The Hub will work combining with research industry and teaching and providing staff and students with various research and development-based opportunities.
An innovative network, education and research precinct (set to open in 2019 on the Te Waihora campus) the Hub will comprise five buildings, housing 706 staff and 900 scientists. It will involve the largest concentration of environmental and land-based researchers in the Southern Hemisphere.
The multi-faceted team behind the Hub is central to its success, part of Lincoln University’s recognition of the importance of building and developing partnerships between industry and research.
Lincoln University is a unique institution well equipped to educate the agri-business experts of tomorrow.
Lincoln’s ability to offer high-quality, future-focused education designed to meet the needs of the broad range of industries associated with the primary sector makes it vitally important to us all. Our future will depend to a large extent on how we apply clever innovative technologies to our natural capital.