Posted 18 December 2012
We have welcomed many influential visitors during the course of the year, our students have been actively engaged in fund raising for local charities and we were represented by our staff and students at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and by staff volunteers at the London Olympics.
Harper Adams has enjoyed a ground-breaking 2012 – topped off by the news it has been awarded full University Title.
Dr David Llewellyn, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “The last year was extremely eventful, culminating, of course, in the fantastic news that we had been awarded University Title. Since then, we have held a number of celebratory events for staff and students, we have received many messages of support from the agri-food and land-based industries and the local community and we have even awarded our first University doctorate to research student Kirtikumar Kondhare.
“We have welcomed many influential visitors during the course of the year, our students have been actively engaged in fund raising for local charities and we were represented by our staff and students at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and by staff volunteers at the London Olympics.
“Our student exchange programme with Cornell University, launched in 2012, has been a great success, and we continue to have active partnerships with our colleagues in China.”
In January, Harper Adams saw friends and project partners, including guest of honour Lord Taylor of Holbeach, join the institution for the official opening of its ‘green energy’ anaerobic digestion plant.
The beginning of the year also saw Harper Adams welcome its first exchange student from Cornell University in the USA. Betsey McKenna, from Albion, New York, completed a term at Harper Adams as part of her sophomore (second) year at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).
In February, more than £170,000 was distributed to successful students who won 90 awards between them at the annual Harper Adams Development Trust Scholarships Presentation.
In spring 2012, Harper Adams secured around £300,000 in grants to support a series of new research projects and a scholarship scheme, the first of which was a three year PhD studentship investigating pig nutrition.
This was swiftly followed by a further £100,000 to fund two research projects – one looking at a new technique, known as pyrolysis, that creates fuel from farm, food and local authority green waste, and another investigating how to make better use of expensive fertilisers.
July was a busy month, with Harper Adams’ first television advertisement premiering on Welsh-language channel S4/C. This was followed with once again being named as one of the UK’s outstanding higher education institutions for graduate employment – with Harper Adams coming in the top three.
And staff and students topped the month off by getting the Royal seal of approval when they represented Harper Adams throughout the ages in a pageant organised for the Queen’s visit to Shropshire as part of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
September saw more than 600 students celebrate completing their studies at the annual graduation ceremony. Honorary doctorates were presented to NFU President Peter Kendall
in recognition of his service to UK agriculture and leadership role within the NFU, and Professor Dick Godwin, in recognition of his distinguished academic contribution to agricultural engineering and significant commitment shown to supporting and enhancing the work of the Engineering Department at Harper Adams. Former Harper Adams Principal, Professor Wynne Jones, who retired in 2009, and alumnus and former Governor Clive Gurney were made Fellows of Harper Adams.
Also this month, Harper Adams was once again named as having one of the highest student satisfaction ratings among UK higher education institutions.
International relations remain high on the agenda and saw the Harper Adams Deputy Vice-Chancellor Peter Mills travel to Brazil at the end of September as part of a UK Trade and Investment delegation, which included the Prime Minister and Government Ministers David Willetts, Lord Green and Hugo Swire.
Staff and students had reason to celebrate when Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the institution was to be awarded nearly £1.5 million to help it develop a new engineering building to accommodate and support the National Centre for Precision Farming, and related teaching and research activities.
Dr Llewellyn added: “We were thrilled to receive the support of the Prime Minister on the news that our new engineering building, which will house the National Centre for Precision Farming, was to receive grant funding. Work on the building project is now under way”
In October, Harper Adams rolled out the red carpet to welcome HRH Princess Anne who was invited to open a new £1.6 million student residence named in her honour.
Dr Llewellyn said: “It was tremendous to welcome back HRH The Princess Royal to our campus to see our work and to open The Princess Royal Hall, which has provided much needed accommodation for our first year students.”
2012 was rounded off in style with the news the Privy Council had awarded Harper Adams full University status.
Dr Llewellyn said: “All told, it has been a great year, and we look forward to 2013 as we start the New Year as Harper Adams University.”