Harper leads the way

Harper Adams University has been named a leading institution for both research partnerships and work with business in new figures from Research England’s Knowledge Exchange Framework.

The University was placed in the STEM cluster – which includes specialised institutions which cover science, technology, engineering and mathematics – for the new KEF rankings, released yesterday (March 31).

The measurements look at universities across a range of metrics both within their cluster and across the UK – and demonstrate the extensive achievements of Harper Adams in building relationships with both research partners and industry.

Deputy vice-chancellor of Harper Adams University, Professor Michael Lee, said: “These figures demonstrate that both our research partnerships, and our work with business, are among the best in all English universities.

“That is a testament to the delivery science approach undertaken by our students and staff.
“We have secured strong placings among our cluster too – something which is particularly pleasing, as Research England notes these are specialist institutions covering STEM subjects, and ones which often carry out ‘high amounts of excellent research.’

“Our research centres look at the vital issues which affect agriculture today – and ahead, to the issues which our food and farming industries will face in the future.

“Working with industry bodies and research partners internationally, that research is shaping practice, policy and thinkingnot just nationally – but globally.”

Among the research partnerships which the University undertakes are those on its Hands-Free Hectare; at the Crop Environment and Research Centre, and through a range of direct links with industry.

Business development manager, Clare Keegan, added: “It is great to see our work with business recognised in the KEF figures, and to see Harper Adams secure a top 10 per cent rating for that work.

“Industry engagement is at the heart of what we do at the University, and creates opportunities for innovation, entrepreneurship, research, student projects, apprenticeships and knowledge transfer.

“The diverse range of ways we interact with business, working closely with UK wide special interest groups and clusters, help to secure employability for our students, development for our staff and innovation in our practice – and provide our industry partners with academic, cross-discipline expertise.

“That includes collaborative and contract work in our research centres, our year-long placement opportunities – with more than 500 businesses harnessing our students’ skills, and our growing numbers of Degree Apprenticeships.”

The University has also been named in the top twenty per cent of institutions in the UK for work in local growth and regeneration and is performing above average among similar institutions on measurements relating to skills, enterprise and entrepreneurship and public and community engagement.

Efforts in local growth and regeneration see Harper Adams working alongside the Marches LEP, for which University Secretary Dr Catherine Baxter is a board member and higher education champion, and on the Newport Innovation and Enterprise Package (Ni-Park) – which is set to have national impact as a result of its links to the University.


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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.