Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Michael Creed, has launched a new University College Dublin (UCD) bachelor of agricultural science degree programme entitled food business with Chinese studies.
The new four-year honour’s degree programme is one of 13 undergraduate options offered by the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science and available to school leavers entering in 2018.
“The food business with Chinese studies programme reflects the changing market landscape, and aims to develop graduates with the skills and talent urgently required by the Irish food industry,” a UCD spokesperson said. “With Brexit and the uncertainty involving the UK market, export expansion to the emerging markets has critical strategic importance to the Irish food industry and the overall economy. The changing market landscape requires improved foreign language capability of Irish companies to facilitate access to new markets, and to help sustain and strengthen the modern agri-food and agribusiness companies. The programme brings together the established expertise in the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science and UCD Institute of Chinese Studies.”
Welcoming the new programme during his visit to the UCD exhibit at the National Ploughing Championships, Minister Creed said: “Agri-food is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry, with in excess of 173,000 employed and a turnover of €26bn. The sector is constantly evolving and has set ambitious targets for growth as part of Food Wise 2025. UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science graduates are critically important to Ireland’s agri-food sector and the new food business with Chinese studies degree programme is timely, relevant and will equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary for professional decision-making in agri-food businesses in the global market.”
Dr Chenguang Li, academic programme coordinator for the food business with Chinese studies programme, is excited about the new degree and said: “According to Bord Bia, China will become the first billion-euro market for Irish food and drinks exports outside of the UK within the next three years. Students receiving an offer on the new programme will be eligible to compete for a limited number of scholarship opportunities that will cover accommodation and tuition fees during year three in China.”