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    Listen again: Vice-Chancellor talks to the BBC about Times and Sunday Times Specialist University of the year success

    15 September 2023

    The BBC have interviewed Vice-Chancellor Professor Ken Sloan about the news Harper Adams has been named the first ever Specialist University of the Year in the Times and the Sunday Times Good University Guide.

    Professor Sloan talked to BBC Radio Shropshire’s Adam Green on this morning’s breakfast show about the news, which was announced at 7am.

    He said: “It’s wonderful news for the University, but also for Shropshire. I think it’s a testimony to our dedicated employees, our brilliant students, we’ve got supportive governors, passionate alumni and amazing partners – and all of this has come together to be recognised by the Times and Sunday Times, so I’m really delighted.”

    The latest announcement is one of many accolades for Harper Adams this year, and Professor Sloan talked about how the University’s success would also mean good news for people in the West Midlands.

    He said: “We’ve got a lot of momentum in the University, and we’ve made some really interesting announcements over the last period and obviously this will give real motivation to our academics, our professional service employees, and also our students – but I hope it will give a real incentive to the people of Shropshire to have a real look at the opportunities they have available to them on their doorstep.”

    Among the developments Professor Sloan cited were recent announcements about investments in two Shropshire towns.

    In Telford, Harper Adams University’s new flexible teaching and learning centre will be sited within Station Quarter, the newly developing knowledge district in the centre of the town. 

    And in Newport, a state-of-the-art animal diagnostics facility, with spaces for learning and teaching, research, and business engagement is planned for the Ni-PARK agri-tech and science park on the edge of the town.

    Alongside these off-campus developments, Professor Sloan also discussed work on the Harper Adams University vineyard and a multi-year porgramme which its School of Sustainable Food and Farming is carrying out with Tesco to provide 75 young farmers with training on sustainable agriculture practices and biodiversity.

    Welcoming both the day’s news and also the news that Harper Adams was the top rated Modern University in this month’s Daily Mail University guide last weekend, Professor Sloan added: “Right across the board at Harper Adams, whether you are looking at the research we do, the knowledge transfer with industry we have, or the education and student experience, we are performing extremely well and I think that’s something Shropshire can be proud of.

    “Thomas Harper Adams bequeathed his legacy and launched an agricultural college in 1901, we became a University in 2012, and up against all those other universities in that relatively short time, we’re right up in the top half of the league table - and performing exceptionally well.”

    Listen again to the interview here from 2hr 25minutes in.

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