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    Harper Adams - A Year in Review - part two

    Posted 21 December 2021

    A group of people celebrate harvest in front of an awning on Harper Adams University's Hands Free Farm.

    With regular award wins, a series of league table successes, ground-breaking research, and all kinds of student stories, 2021 has proved to be another eventful year at Harper Adams University.

    Join us as we look back at some of the highlights from July to December, and see our January to June highlights here


    Harper Adams was once again ranked among the top 10 universities for overall student satisfaction when the National Student Survey results were released in July.

    From a response rate of 87%, Harper Adams University achieved an overall satisfaction score of 84.2% from its taught students.

    This success was followed later in the month by encouraging Graduate Outcomes statistics, which showed more UK-based undergraduates from Harper Adams were in work or further study than from any other university in the country. The proportion of these graduates who were in full time employment was also the highest in the country in the survey results.

    The University underlined its commitment to the support and development of sustainable agri-food and rural businesses by creating a new academic department firmly focussed on future skills development, enterprise assistance and research.

    And at the close of the month, Harper Adams was named as the top university in the United Kingdom in the Student Crowd University Awards 2021as well as rating highly across a range of categories – including as the number one university in the country for job prospects.


    In August, staff and Governors, past and present gathered to say farewell to the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Llewellyn.

    An informal celebration gave colleagues and friends the chance to give their good wishes to Dr Llewellyn – who retired as Harper Adams Vice-Chancellor at the end of July.

    Two new awards were launched by the University’s School of Sustainable Farming and partners Trinity Agtech. The Farming Innovation Pioneers Awards will be made to farmers who work with cross-industry stakeholders to spearhead transformational sustainability projects – those which drive the industry forward environmentally, socially or commercially, or a combination of all three.

    Later in the month, Harper Adams Professor Jude Capper was a guest on BBC1’s Countryfile – the first of two appearances of university staff on the programme during the latter part of the year. Professor Capper was invited to appear on the programme after discussing livestock and sustainability issues with presenter Adam Henson.


    An extensive project which aims to discover the true value of Britain’s farm shop sector was launched by the University, in collaboration with the Farm Retail Association.

    The project seeks to find out the impact farm shops have not only with their local communities, farmers and suppliers, but also upon the wider economy and the UK’s rural landscape.

    The new Chief Executive at the Valuation Office Agency was announced – with the Harper Adams alumnus wanting the University’s students to follow him into a government career.

    Jonathan Russell CB said: said: “I’m very proud to be a former student at Harper Adams.

    “It was a great place to study and provided a strong foundation for my career. Whenever I mentioned I had attended the university, it was clear it was held in high esteem.”

    The University continued its run as the UK’s top-rated modern university in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide for a sixth consecutive year.

    The institution remains a top 30 university in the Guide, where it was also rated highest in the country for the amount spent on its award-winning facilities, ranked 11th for student experience, and placed 14th for teaching quality.

    Tributes were paid to a Harper Adams Professor Emeritus who passed away peacefully.

    Professor Simon Leather BSc MBiol Hon.FRES PhD, Professor Emeritus at Harper Adams University, was renowned not only in the field of entomology but well beyond – and colleagues and students past and present across the globe spoke of their fond memories of him.


    Fresh student awards wins were among October’s highlights.

    Agriculture with Farm Business Management student Harry Davies was named overall winner of the Pinnacle award 2021, and Agriculture with Animal Science student Will Awan secured silver in the British Farming Awards Agriculture Student of the Year category.

    BBC’s Countryfile visited the University’s Hands Free Farm for its annual Harvest special, to see how the work being done there could change the future of the British harvest.

    Meanwhile, the UK’s first School of Sustainable Food and Farming was officially launched by Harper Adams University, Morrisons, McDonald’s and the National Farmers’ Union (NFU.)

    The SSFF will lead in developing new sustainable farming methods to help British agriculture achieve its net zero goal.


    The expertise of a Harper Adams lecturer was called upon to re-imagine classic paintings as part of a campaign highlighting the importance of engineering in the run up to the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

    A £250,000 project aimed at recovering nutrients from farm slurry got underway at the University.

    Using the University farm, the project will test novel technology which aims to remove and recover phosphorus from cattle slurry. 

    Finally, both staff and student achievements were recognised in November award wins.

    Graduates Philip Pinn and Emily Jones were named among this year’s Helmut Claas Scholarship awards winners for their Honours Research Projects.

    And Harper Adams Professor Emeritus Richard Godwin took home the Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year trophy from the Times Higher Education Awards 2021.


    Harper Adams alumni and students were among fourteen newly-announced NFU Ambassadors.

    Harper Adams Student Union President Emily Brown, Rural Enterprise and Land Management student Thomas Saunders, and recent Agriculture graduate Dan Hawes will each now work with the NFU to promote British farming over the coming year – both inside the industry and to the general public.

    A Harper Adams academic whose studies at the university helped set him on his path to a career in entomology was named as the Royal Entomological Society’s first Early Career Trustee.

    The role will mean that Dr Joe Roberts will now be working with the society to ensure academics and researchers – like him – who are at the start of their careers in the discipline are represented.

    Fresh investment of almost £500,000 will be made into the Harper Adams University campus thanks to a successful Strategic Priorities Grant (SPG) bid to the Office for Students.

    The £491,206 funding will be used to support the second phase of work to support teaching and learning in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing, veterinary physiotherapy and allied para-professions at Harper Adams.

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