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Harper Adams reshapes academic expertise to better face industry challenges

Posted 21 October

"The University’s new Strategic Plan set out ambitious goals to help turn debate about climate change into action; inform consumer views about key issues in its specialist fields; contribute to UK prosperity; help develop new technologies; and to secure the skills needed by the industries and professions with which we work"

Harper Adams University has reshaped its academic expertise to help tackle the many challenges that lie ahead for industry, the professions and wider society.

Commenting on the strategic imperative giving rise to this move, Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Llewellyn, said:

“The University’s new Strategic Plan, launched earlier in 2020, set out ambitious goals to help turn debate about climate change into action; inform consumer views about key issues in its specialist fields; contribute to UK prosperity; help develop new technologies; and to secure the skills needed by the industries and professions with which we work.

“We know that the road ahead is going to be challenging for everybody as we adapt to the advent of new technologies, the critical issues facing our environment and the policy framework for agriculture, and related disciplines, within which we will all have to operate. But these issues will also present new opportunities, so we have reshaped our expertise in a new departmental structure so as to contribute to our strategic objectives and these major societal issues.”

Dr Andy Wilcox will head the Department of Agriculture and Environment and will lead a large team of specialists from crop and environment sciences, livestock sciences and farm business management. The new name underlines the agricultural heritage of Harper Adams whilst recognising the increased emphasis on environmental matters that will emerge in farming and food production in the years ahead.

Dr Wilcox’s professional interests include the facilitation of agricultural and environmental education in the UK and overseas. He said: “The formation of the Agriculture and Environment Department combines expertise in crop and animal production, farm business and the environment. This move is a key element in the University’s strategy for the delivery of high-quality teaching and research in sustainable agriculture.”

Dr Philip Robinson returned to Harper Adams University as the new head of the Department of Veterinary Health and Animal Sciences at the start of the academic year. Dr Robinson joined Harper Adams from the University of Glasgow’s School of Veterinary Medicine, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Department.

He said: “I am honoured to be leading the new Department of Veterinary Health and Animal Sciences at an exciting time in the development of the University. The opening of the new Harper & Keele Veterinary School offers fantastic new facilities and equipment for training veterinary nursing and veterinary physiotherapy students from my Department.

“Additionally, there are excellent opportunities for inter-professional education and research collaboration between all of the different disciplines in animal health and welfare represented at the University.”

The Veterinary Health and Animal Sciences Department offers a range of courses that will ensure students are equipped with both the theoretical and hands on skills that they require to embark on a career in veterinary health and animal care.

The reshaped departments join the Land and Agribusiness Management; Food Technology and Innovation; and Engineering departments in the delivery of high-quality education and research at Harper Adams University

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