20 December 2011 – On the heels of its first bachelor of sustainability degree the University of New England in NSW is offering the full suite of undergraduate and postgraduate programs in sustainability in 2012.

Senior lecturer and course coordinator of the bachelor’s degree Robyn Bartel told The Fifth Estate the university would be offering a graduate certificate, graduate diploma and master of sustainability.

By 2013 when the first students graduate from the bachelor’s degree, it is expected that over 100 students will be enrolled in the course.

The university had given a great deal of thought to how to make the courses as good as they can be, with an external advisory group commissioned to provide independent assessments and to guide continuous improvements of each of the programs on offer, Dr Bartel said.

The committee includes two government representatives (from state and commonwealth environmental agencies) and one representative from the private sector (an environmental and planning lawyer).

:”Committee members working in government said graduates would be highly sought after to work in policy implementation while the private sector representative thought that increasingly industries with environmental impacts such as mining would also be interested,” Dr Bartel said.

A government representative said agencies would be keen to house students in work placements during their studies, she said.

Students can undertake workplace experience during the degree through a workplace-oriented unit of study.

“Students undertaking the degree are by overwhelming majority located off campus and studying externally online, combining their university work with employment in environmental agencies and allied sectors,”  Dr Bartel said.