1 December 2000 Lincoln University confidently pursuing specialist paths
Lincoln University was founded in 1878 as a school of agriculture, became a university college and the first institution in Australasia to offer a degree in agriculture in 1896, and was granted university status in its own right from 1990.
With a roll of around 3800 students it is the smallest of New Zealand's eight universities but its reputation stretches worldwide and its graduates are to be found in countries around the globe. With a history going back 122 years it is the third oldest agricultural teaching institution in the Commonwealth, after the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, in Britain and the University of Guelph in Canada.
Teaching and research at Lincoln today have expanded beyond agriculture but there remains a common theme of the land, its productivity and the sustainable management of natural resources.
All the University's degree, diploma and certificate programmes relate in some way to the utilisation and management of the land, natural resources, and the place and role of people in relation to one another and to the land. Thus programmes in areas as seemingly disparate as tourism, landscape architecture, recreation management, social science, natural resources engineering, economics, accounting, molecular biology, food science, hotel management and viticulture and oenology have a common linkage. This allows for much interdisciplinary teaching and research, which has become a hallmark of a Lincoln education along with ‘real-world’ application and experience.
The Chancellor of Lincoln University is a former Minister of Research, Science and Technology, the Hon. Margaret Austin (Chancellor from 2000) and the Vice-Chancellor is Dr Frank Wood (started 1997).
The University has a teaching and research ‘platform’ based on the ‘core competencies’ of commerce, science and social science which in turn provide competencies in areas such as the biological sciences, business and management, environmental science, information systems, and natural resource management.
The University as a whole operates to an annual budget of around $60 million, with less of a dependence (under one-third) on Government funding than most of the other universities and the balance self-generated through internationalisation, research revenue, consultancy services and other trading activities.
Lincoln claims many distinctions within the New Zealand university system. It is, for example, the most ‘internationalised’ of the country's universities with close to 25 percent of its students coming from overseas and some 58 different countries represented on campus.
Lincoln was the first New Zealand university to teach a New Zealand degree off-shore (in Malaysia starting in 1994) and it has been a Government export award winner for foreign exchange earnings and other international activities.
Lincoln has held nine international graduation ceremonies since 1995 and this year in Malaysia it held the largest overseas graduation ceremony by a New Zealand university when over 165 graduates were capped in their home region.
Lincoln was the first university in New Zealand to offer a Sports Scholarship Programme (in cricket, hockey, netball and rugby) introduced in 1999, and the first university to offer a Bachelor of Maori Studies degree (now renamed Bachelor of Maori Planning & Development), introduced in 1995. It was also the first university to appoint a full professor in the area of real estate studies (1989) and similarly in international trade policy (1997).
LEADER IN MANY FIELDS:
The University has been a leader in many agricultural and horticultural developments in New Zealand. For example, New Zealand's deer farming industry largely began when the country's first scientific deer research farmlet was established on the Lincoln campus at the end of the 1960s – a fact acknowledged when the award of an honorary doctorate was made to deer industry pioneer Sir Tim Wallis at this year's Graduation Ceremony.
Also, with the world moving forward into new realms of biotechnology in the 1980s, Lincoln University scientists produced New Zealand's first transgenic animal – that is a species (in this case a mouse) carrying genetic material introduced by laboratory manipulation from another animal. That was in 1989 and it gave science in New Zealand a valuable understanding of gene technology at a time when the world was starting to explore this area.
CAMPUS & STAFF:
The Lincoln University campus occupies 58 hectares in a rural setting 22 kilometres south of Christchurch. Beyond the campus the University owns and operates four farms (sheep, cropping, dairy, and high country station) and it is involved in a pioneering venture with Heinz Wattie's and the operation of the country's first commercial scale demonstration organic farm.
Lincoln has an academic staff of about 190 grouped into six academic divisions which provide the organisational basis for the University's teaching and research – they are Animal & Food Sciences; Applied Management & Computing; Commerce; Environmental Management & Design; Soil, Plant & Ecological Sciences; Human Sciences. These divisions are linked to three schools – Postgraduate & Research; Professional Studies; and Undergraduate.
Distinguished former students of Lincoln include Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon, business leader Sir Ron Trotter, war hero Captain Charles Upham VC & Bar, All Black captain Wilson Whineray, the Deputy Chief Minister (equivalent of Deputy Prime Minister) of Sarawak, Tan Sri Alfred Jabu.
In the latest All Black team, Scott Robertson is a current Lincoln student and Greg Somerville and Reuben Thorne are past students. In the New Zealand Women's Cricket team, Kate Pulford is a current student and the NZ Women's Hockey team which went to the Sydney Olympics had past students Anna Lawrence and Kate Trolove among its members.
Ian Collins, Journalist, Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand
Geotag KeywordsLincoln UniversityNotable AlumniLincoln University Sports Scholarsinternationalised