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Graduation 2011

Posted 23 September 2011

they have made, in their own fields, outstanding contributions to innovation, developing greater understanding between all aspects of the agri-food chain and the need to develop the public understanding agri-food and rural issues that reflect our mission as a higher education institution."

Honorary degree recipients join Principal Dr David Llewellyn and Chairman of Governors Alison Blackburn OBE to plant a tree to mark the University College's 110th anniversary

Slideshow of images below

More than 600 students celebrated the completion of their studies with Harper Adams University College at Graduation 2011, held on September 23. 

Welcoming graduands, guests and families to the event, Harper Adams Principal Dr David Llewellyn highlighted successes over the course of the 2010/11 academic year, including an increase in applied research and improved teaching quality.

“Our national student survey performance this year placed us in the top 10 of all UK universities and the employment rates for our graduates have remained extremely strong this year - when coupled with a survey response rate of 99.6% of our 2010 graduates we are currently the top university in the UK.

“On 11 September, we were named, for the fifth year in a row, the University College of the Year in the Sunday Times University Guide.  We were 6th in the UK for teaching excellence, joint 7th for graduate employment, joint 6th for student satisfaction and entered the top 50 universities in the league table of 122 institutions. This is a reflection of the hard work of our students and staff and a measure of the increasingly high regard with which this academic community is held by our peers in higher education, and by the industry sectors with which we work.  

Dr Llewellyn thanked the students for the contributions they had made to the college community, highlighting in particular their strength and support following the death of a fellow student in a road accident in June.

“You showed a truly remarkable response to the tragic loss of Gethin Webb right at the end of the academic year. His family are here today. I know that they are full of admiration for you, just as I am immensely proud of the way in which you supported each other, and them, at a very difficult time.

“So thank you for acting as such good ambassadors for the University College during your time with us, a role that we hope will continue as you embark on your careers. For our part we will continue to ensure that Harper Adams maintains the high standards and success in which you have played a major role.”

Alongside the hundreds of undergraduate degrees, a range of other awards were presented on Friday, from Certificates of Higher Education awarded to learners on “employer engagement” programmes, to Honorary Doctorates and University College Fellowships.  

Speaking about his Honorary Doctorate Justin King CBE, Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s Supermarkets, who congratulated each graduate as they passed across the stage at the ceremony, said: “It’s a huge honour to receive this recognition from such a prestigious institution. Sainsbury’s has supported British farming for over 140 years and we continue to push the boundaries in sustainable sourcing and farming.

“Working with the agriculture industry and sourcing with integrity to provide customers with quality products at fair prices, is part of Sainsbury’s DNA and core to our values. Over the years, we’ve built strong partnerships with our farmers through our dedicated Development Groups, working together to reduce our impact on the environment, increase efficiency, improve yields and raise animal welfare.  

“I’m very proud of what Sainsbury’s has accomplished as a business and I look forward to working with the UK agriculture and farming sector for many years to come.”

Honorary Doctorates were also presented to Matthew Dempsey, Editor of the Irish Farmers’ Journal, and to Dr Geoffrey Davies OBE, Managing Director of Alamo Group Europe Ltd.

Dr David Llewellyn, Harper Adams Principal, said of the honorary degree and fellowship recipients: “We feel that they have made, in their own fields, outstanding contributions to innovation, developing greater understanding between all aspects of the agri-food chain and the need to develop the public understanding agri-food and rural issues that reflect our mission as a higher education institution and some of the activities in which we have been engaged over the last year.”

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