Welsh farmers gain an institute

March 10, 1995

The Welsh Institute of Rural Studies was established at Aberystwyth last week when the university's department of agriculture merged with the Welsh Agricultural College.

Michael Haines, institute director, says that the centre will create large, multidisciplinary research teams to tackle the various scientific and economic challenges facing rural communities.

On the teaching front, the institute will cater for a wide range of student needs - from providing further education training for young farmers to offering Aberystwyth University's traditional undergraduate and postgraduate courses. "My priority is to create a flexible system of education and training capable of evolving to meet changing demands on the agri-food sector and the rural community it sustains," Professor Haines said.

He expects that there will be close collaboration between the institute and other countryside organisations. For example, long-standing research links will be furthered with the nearby Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research - an organisation which was itself formerly part of the University of Wales, now part of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

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