Northern Ireland's College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) has announced plans to run a series of virtual open days for prospective students as Covid-19 restrictions are tightened in the region.

Deirdre Cooper, CAFRE’s student recruitment manager explained it would ensure potential students and their families don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn about courses, view the college's facilities and meet its staff.

A further 1,217 cases and four deaths were confirmed in the region this evening as the Northern Ireland Executive today (October 14) announced it would extend schools' half-term break by a week, close pubs and restaurants and close-contact services such as beauticians and hairdressers in a bid to control the spread of the virus.

Universities and colleges will also be encouraged to return to distance learning where possible.

“The Further Education courses on offer at Levels 2 and 3 are for students post GCSE (or equivalent) who are interested in a career in agriculture, food, horticulture, equine, land-based engineering, floristry and veterinary nursing," Cooper said.

“Our Higher Education provision includes Honours Degrees and Foundation Degree programmes for post A-Level students in agriculture, food, horticulture and equine.

"We also offer a wide range of Apprenticeship Programmes ranging from Level 2 to Higher Level Apprenticeships (equivalent to Foundation degree).

During our Virtual Open Day events, we will take you on a tour around our fabulous campuses and show you the state-of-the-art practical facilities CAFRE has to offer at our three locations.

“Along the way, we will meet students and graduates who will tell you about what it is really like to study at CAFRE and they will show you around the accommodation, restaurant and sports facilities.

“Lecturers will also be online to tell you more about the courses available and there will be information about our industry connections, placements and bursaries opportunities.

“Everyone is welcome to attend the virtual events including school pupils, college students, adult returners, parents, guardians, teachers and careers advisers.”

The series of Virtual Open Day events will begin at 7:00pm on the following dates:

  • Food Tuesday, October 20;
  • Equine Thursday, October 22;
  • Horticulture Tuesday, November 3;
  • Agriculture Thursday, November 5;
  • Veterinary Nursing Tuesday, November 10;
  • Land-based Engineering Wednesday, November 11;
  • Floristry Tuesday, November 17.