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Commonwealth Supported Places Helping Students Upskill


13 October 2020

Box Hill Institute is offering an Undergraduate Certificate of Biosecurity Science as a Commonwealth Supported Place, which means students pay no fees. The course allows students to combine their interests in agriculture, animals and plants with science for an enjoyable and rewarding and practical career. We spoke to students Nat and Lizzy about their decision to enrol in the course.

Nat has worked in biosecurity for four years but wanted to upskill. She saw the online delivery of the Undergraduate Certificate as a great way to further her existing qualifications as part of her life-long learning. Lizzy is a mature-age student with existing skills in conservation and land management who wants to further her skills in biosecurity science and pursue her dream of becoming a Detector Dog Handler. 
 
Nat said, “I have been working in the Aquatic Biosecurity sector for four years with the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade. The Aquatic Biosecurity position involves ongoing surveillance and monitoring programs to enable early detection of aquatic pests. 

“I find this work extremely rewarding and enjoyable and I was looking to formalise my work experience with tertiary qualifications. When I found this Undergraduate Certificate in Biosecurity Science, I was so excited to learn the theory behind the critical work performed. 

“The Undergraduate Certificate has four core units that are relevant to apply to industry standards. Moreover, the certificate is delivered in a flexible online environment with qualified experienced lecturers. Another positive aspect is that the certificate can be achieved within 13 weeks with the opportunity to extend the studies to the biosecurity science degree if choose to do so,” she said.

Nat was able to pursue the Undergraduate Certificate because it was being offered as a Commonwealth Supported Place. She said, “This funding provided the opportunity to develop essential skills to apply in the workplace and expand my employability skills to enhance my career options in this competitive environment.”

The Undergraduate Certificate of Biosecurity Science has provided Nat with the opportunity to develop a formal qualification to enhance her skills and knowledge, including an in depth analysis of the biosecurity processes and an examination of stakeholder and government roles and responsibilities. She said, “Going forward, I feel that the opportunity to complete this course has provided me with the knowledge and confidence to fulfil the obligations required in the biosecurity industry.”

Lizzy has not engaged in tertiary studies for some years and is in full time employment. She saw the Undergraduate Certificate of Biosecurity Science as an ideal entry point to stimulate her mind whilst gaining confidence studying online and after hours. She was also keen to broaden her career pathway by combining her horticultural and conservation knowledge and skills with biosecurity sciences.

Lizzy said, “Being offered a Commonwealth Supported Position in the course, gave me access to study and removed the burden of student debt or borrowing money to enrol. Although, this was not the sole influence in deciding to commence my studies, it has provided me with the opportunity to focus on my course load.

“The Undergraduate Certificate of Biosecurity Science, has been extremely valuable and I come away with improved analytical writing skills and an increased knowledge and general understanding of the biosecurity industry,” she said. 

In the future, Lizzy has hopes to continue her study by completing the Bachelor of Biosecurity.