Staff, students and Governors at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester celebrate today as full university status is granted to the institution. The world-renowned provider of specialist education and research will now be known as the Royal Agricultural University.
The Royal Agricultural University will continue to lead the development of teaching and research in agriculture, agri-business, equine, food, and land & property management. This new title will enable the university to emphasise the strength of its reputation, history and expertise on a national and international platform.
The Principal, Professor Chris Gaskell CBE, said: “As the Royal Agricultural University, we will enhance our position as a world-class higher education institution. Established in 1845, we have a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching, our research and our connections with the industries we serve.”
“University status best describes what the institution does and aspires to do; university title will benefit our students, their employers and the industries to which they contribute – and agriculture, food and land management are some of the most important industries in the world today.”
The university currently has more than 1150 students, from over 40 different countries, studying on one of its 30 undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes. The university also has an impressive graduate employability rate; on average over the last five years, 94% of its students went on to employment or further study.
Andy Westwood, Chief Executive of GuildHE, the organisation that represents a number of specialist institutions, including the Royal Agricultural University, said:
“Smaller and specialist institutions are long established – in most cases for longer than many UK universities – and often lead the league tables in areas such as teaching and employability. They also have a strong reputation and impact in their localities and sectors – contributing to economic growth and to stronger, more vibrant communities. Gaining university title is long overdue and it helps to provide greater choice for students and for businesses, while enhancing the quality and diversity of the UK’s higher education sector as a whole.”