Optimism was raised by the responses of students during a campus tour involving some of the inaugural intake for the agricultural business management degree to start at the Muresk Institute in March next year.  

On December 11, a group of students and their parents toured laboratories, lecture theatres, living quarters, recreation facilities and the farm at Muresk. They also received additional information about the degree and operation of the farm. All participated enthusiastically in a number of activities to promote the degree including the filming of footage for a short television and cinema advertisement.

Information newly released by Muresk Institute, was provided for those looking to live on campus. This included availability of accommodation either full time, one semester at a time, by the week, two or three nights a week or on a nightly basis. Catering may also be available subject to enough students signing up for meals.

The applicants who attended came from agricultural areas across the state. They included Courtney Humphrey and Matthew Reynolds from York, Emily Miller from Beverley, Emily McKenny from Denmark and Brianna Hindle from Ballidu. Others were Nicholas Hardie from Boddington, Tahlia McSwain from Busselton and Alec Wiles from Popanyinning.  Some received offers by way of a ‘Principal’s Recommendation’ which gives academically talented students entry into Charles Sturt University without the need for an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank. One gained an offer based on a previous VET qualification.

Reasons the students gave for choosing the CSU degree included: its practical, hands on nature, being rural based, situated on a working farm and being part of a small campus.  The general consensus was that the degree better suited their aspirations for careers in agricultural business and finance than ones that were science based. All welcomed the opportunity to see the facilities at Muresk first hand and the chance to meet the staff who would be delivering the course.

Director of the Higher Education Project, Dr Christine Storer said it was a red letter day for staff who ran very smooth campus and farm tours for the new students and their families. It was good practice for the larger group expected on January 22. "I spoke to many students who decided to accept their offer of a place in the course based on what they saw and heard during their visit. “This is a critical part of getting the course going successfully," she said.

The Charles Sturt University Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management is being offered in a partnership with C Y O'Connor Institute and has attracted nearly 30 applications so far. The course will mark the return of a degree to the iconic Muresk campus near Northam which has a history of almost 90 years producing well qualified graduates to fill positions in farming and agriculture related businesses.

TOP: Students and parents with Director of the Higher Education Project, Dr Christine Storer and farm manager, Peter Ledger, during the tour of the Muresk Institute farm. MIDDLE: One of the student residences in 'the settlement' at the Muresk Institute.
LOWER: Matthew Reynolds, Emily Miller and Courtney Humphrey in a laboratory during the Muresk Institute campus tour.