Harper Adams University

Harper Adams University
Motto Utile Dulci (Latin)
Motto in English
Useful and agreeable
Type Public
Established 2012: gained University Status
1998: gained University college status
1901: Founded as Harper Adams College
Chancellor HRH the Princess Royal
Vice-Chancellor David Llewellyn
Students 5,410 (2016/17)[1]
Undergraduates 4,960 (2016/17)[1]
Postgraduates 455 (2016/17)[1]
Other students
60 FE[2]
Location Edgmond, Shropshire, TF10 8NB, United Kingdom
52°46′47″N 2°25′39″W / 52.779651°N 2.427517°W / 52.779651; -2.427517
Campus Rural
Colours           Blue and gold
Website Harper Adams University

Harper Adams University (previously known as Harper Adams College) is a public university located close to the village of Edgmond, near Newport, in Shropshire, UK. Established in 1901, the university is a specialist provider of higher education for the agricultural and rural sector. The university provides more than 50 foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes to students from over 30 countries. The university is set within a 550 hectare (1360 acre) working farm.[3]


Harper Adams College was founded in 1901 under leadership of Principal Headworth Foulkes (1901-1922) after Thomas Harper Adams, a wealthy Shropshire gentleman farmer who has died in 1892, bequeathed the estate. The College had just six students. In 1909 a specialist poultry husbandry was created[4].

During the First World War, Harper Adams remained open, and in 1915 the first women were admitted into the College on wartime farm courses. Harper Adams was the first institute to do so, and in 1916 women were admitted as full-time students onto a wide variety of courses. Approximately, 200 staff and former students served during the war and 40 are known to have died[5]At time of publication 17 were then known to</ref>. In 2015, 10 additional names were added to the university's memorial board, after previously unrecorded alumni were also discovered to been killed in action[6]. A board in the Old Library listing the names of those killed was dedicated in March 2015, crafted by Peter Nunn of the university's estate department, whilst a new memorial garden was also created outside the library.

The agricultural depression of the 1920s onwards leg to a drop in student numbers. In 1922, Charles Crowther (1922 - 1944) became Principal and efforts were taken to ensure the College stayed open. The National Institute of Poultry Husbandry opened in 1926, bringing with it to Harper a high profile in areas of teaching and research. The College managed to stay open during the Second World War, and in 1939 the first girls arrived at the College. Bill Price (1946-1962) become Principal in 1946 and student numbers steadily rose to 222. The Jubilee Hostel was opened in 1951[7].

Reginald Kenny became Principal in 1962 until 1977. In 1964, the funding of the College was passed from the Ministry of Agriculture to the Department of Education and Science. The first Higher National Diploma students were enrolled in 1969. Tony Harris was later appointed Principal in 1977 until 1994. Degree courses were first introduced at Harper Adams in 1981. The university was one of the first institutions to introduce a BSc. sandwich course. The [CNAA] granted Harper Adams the authority to validate its own courses. In 1985, the science building was opened by HRH The Princess Margaret[7].

Student numbers passed 1000 for the first time in 1991. In 1994, three new student residences were opened. Professor Wynn Jones became Principal in 1996, and later that year the Privy Council granted the university degree awarding powers. In 1998, Harper Adams gained the title of University College. In 2004, Harper Adams was awarded £2.1 million in funding to develop its work with rural businesses. Harper Adams gain the power to award research degrees in 2006 and shortly after, a new Biomass Hall was opened. Dr David Llewellyn was appointed Principle in 2009[8]. In the September, a new £2.3 million dairy unit was opened[9] and in December, a £3million award-winning Regional Food Academy (RFA) was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal[10]. In 2010, Nick Herbert opened a Postgraduate and Professional Development Centre, and in the same year the Faccenda student centre and a new student hall of residence were opened. An anaerobic digester opened in 2011, expects to offset the carbon emissions of the university three times over annually. It won a Renewable Energy Infrastructure Award and hosts an award winning anaerobic digestion facility[11].

Harper Adams is a lead academic sponsor of the JCB Academy which opened in 2010. JCB Academy was the first university technical college to be established in England[12].

In 2012, Harper Adams had the title 'university' conferred upon it. This ended the institution's long history of being a college and consequently, Harper Adams became Shropshire's first university[13].


The campus is in parkland on the outskirts of Edgmond near Newport, Shropshire. Since 2000, the college has expanded existing facilities and introduced new ones.

University Farm

Harper Adams operates a 550 hectare (1390 acres) commercial farm on campus.

Main Building and teaching facilities

  • Main Building
  • Weston Building
  • Faccenda
  • Bamford Library
  • Foulkes Crowther
  • Postgraduate and Professional Development Centre
  • A-Block
  • B-Block
  • Frank Parkinson Farm Education Centre
  • Jubilee Adams
  • Tudor Lodge and North West Building
  • Aspire Centre
  • C-Block
  • Doctor's surgery
  • Frontier's Crop Centre
  • Queen Mother Hall (QMH)


In 2014 Harper Adams University was recognised for the quality of its research by the Research Excellence Framework.[14]. Areas of research include; management of soil and water, crop disease resistance, agricultural technology, livestock carbon footprint reduction, genetic approaches to improving food quality, bioenergy and renewable sources, agricultural landscape biodiversity, pedagogy and animal welfare[15].

Research facilities

  • Elizabeth Creek Building
  • Princess Margaret Science Laboratories
  • Jean Jackson Entomology Building
  • Crop and Environment Research Centre
  • Dairy Crest Innovation Centre
  • Poultry Research Unit
  • Regional Food Academy

Academic departments

Undergraduate courses are offered via 11 academic departments:

  • Agriculture
  • Animal Sciences
  • Applied Biology
  • Business and Agri-Food
  • Countryside, Environment, Wildlife and Geography
  • Engineering
  • Food Science, Technology and Innovation
  • Real Estate, Property and Land Management
  • Veterinary Nursing
  • Veterinary Physiotherapy
  • Zoology

Ranking & Awards

Global rankings
(2019, national)
Times/Sunday Times[17]
(2018, national)
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[18] Gold

Notable awards:

  • 2008 - Best University College (The Sunday Times).
  • 2009 - Best University College (The Sunday Times).
  • 2010 - Best University College (The Sunday Times).
  • 2011 - Best University College (The Sunday Times).
  • 2011 - Top 50 UK Universities (The Sunday Times)[19].
  • 2012 - Best University College (The Sunday Times).
  • 2017 - 98% graduate employment rate, joint highest in UK (HESA 2017)[20].
  • 2017 - Whatuni University of the Year[21].
  • 2017 - Whatuni Winner Job Prospects[21].
  • 2017 - Whatuni Winner Courses and Lecturers[21].
  • 2017 - Whatuni Winner Student Support[21].
  • 2017 - UK's Best Modern University (Times Higher Education)[22].
  • 2017 - 1st Student Experience (Times Higher Education).
  • 2017 - The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Further and Higher Education - Winner of Innovative applications in agricultural engineering and technologies to address UK and global food security[23].

Student life

The SU provides entertainment in the student bar including comedy nights and live music. The university holds four themed balls throughout the year; Fresher's Ball (September), Christmas Ball (December), Paddy's Ball (March) and the Summer Ball (June).

The university has a number of student social facilities including; Graze Café, Kaldi Café, Costa Coffee, Pam's Pantry, The Feed Store, The Welly Inn, Main Bar and the Conference Dining Hall.


Harper Adams has a variety of sports clubs, including rugby, shooting, football, hockey, fencing, netball, polo, basketball, motorsport, off-roading, rowing, running, field sports, equestrian and mountain biking. The university competes in the British Universities and Colleges Sport leagues and championships[24].

Rowing Club

Harper Adams University Boat Club (HAURC) is located at Pengwern Boat Club on the River Severn in Shrewsbury[25]. Members compete in the BUCS Rowing League, local regattas and holds a private match against Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. The club's registered blades are dark blue, cyan and gold[26].

Shooting Club

Harper Adams University Clay Shooting Club (HAUSC) is the largest club in the university with over 100 members[27]. The club competes in local competitions, BUCS League, the Countryside Alliance Cirencester Cup Competition and also holds private matches against the Royal Agricultural University and St. Andrew's University. The HAUSC is consistently placed amongst the most successful shooting clubs in the UK. In 2011 and 2012, the HAUSC won the national title at the BUCS Clay Pigeon Shooting Championships[28].

Motorsport Team

The Motorsport Team has its own VW Golf GTi rally car and Ford Fiesta R2 National.[29][30] In January 2017, the team announced a partnership with the M-Sport World Rally Team. The team regularly competes in BRC events.[30]


Undergraduate students reside on campus in one of 15 halls[31]:

  • Boughey Hall
  • Bradford Hall
  • Darwin Hall
  • Darby Hall
  • Jebb Hall
  • Silcock Hall
  • Gloucester Hall
  • Harris Hall
  • Leverhulme Hall (Opened 2015)
  • Jerman Hall (Opened 2015)
  • Princess Royal Hall (Opened 2012)
  • University Houses; Flat Road, Newton and Poultry Drive
  • Ward Hall

Notable alumni

Notable governors

Honorary degree and fellowship holders


  • Hedworth Foulkes (1901-22)
  • Charles Crowther (1922-1944)
  • Bill Price (1946-1962)
  • Reginald Kenney (1962-77)
  • Tony Harris (1977-94)
  • Wynne Jones (1996-2009)
  • Dr David Llewelyn (2009-present)

Notable staff

  • Charles Crowther (1876–1964), Principal of Harper Adams Agricultural College from 1922 to 1944, father of Geoffrey Crowther, Baron Crowther
  • F. P. Raynham (1893–1954) In 1909 he was an office worker at the Harper Adams Agricultural College, he then became a British pilot[53] from the early days of aviation
  • William Thomas Price, CBE, MC, Principal, Harper Adams Agricultural College, CBE in 1960 New Year Honours
  • Anthony George Harris, OBE, Principal, Harper Adams Agricultural College, OBE in 1991 Birthday Honours
  • Izzy Warren-Smith, Senior Lecturer, Rural Economics and Management, Harper Adams University College (for services to the rural economy) Midlander of the Year 2003
  • Professor Elphin Wynne Jones, OBE, Principal, Harper Adams University College, OBE in 2009 New Year Honours
  • David Llewellyn (born 1960) Vice-Chancellor[54] of Harper Adams University since 2009
  • Simon Leather Professor of Entomology[55] at Harper Adams University, aphid specialist


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  2. "Table 0a – All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2006/07" (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 5 April 2008.
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  4. "About - History | Harper Adams University". Harper-adams.ac.uk. Retrieved 2016-09-15.
  5. Francis, Peter (2013). Shropshire War Memorials, Sites of Remembrance. YouCaxton Publications. pp. 68–69. ISBN 978-1-909644-11-3.
  6. "Dedication of new memorial to alumni who fell in First World War".
  7. 1 2 "Why Harper? - Harper Adams University". www.harper-adams.ac.uk.
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  9. https://dairy.ahdb.org.uk/news/news-archive/2009/dairyco-chairman-opens-harper-adams’-new-£23m-dairy-unit/#.WkWDVracafQ
  10. "Midlands food academy opens".
  11. Harper Adams College Digester CHP Plant, Clarke-energy.com, accessed 14 March 2013
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  45. 1 2 "Graduation 2015".
  46. 1 2 3 4 5 "Five Honorary Degrees and Fellowships awarded at Graduation".
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  48. 1 2 3 "Key figures awarded Honorary Degrees and Fellowship (video)".
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  50. Madden, Sophie. "TV stars pick up honorary degree titles at Harper Adams University". www.shropshirestar.com.
  51. 1 2 3 4 5 "Honorary degrees and fellowships 2011".
  52. "HRH The Princess Royal to be first Chancellor of Harper Adams University".
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  54. "Staff Directory - Professor Simon Leather - Harper Adams University". Harper-adams.ac.uk. Retrieved 27 December 2017.

Coordinates: 52°46′47″N 2°25′39″W / 52.779651°N 2.427517°W / 52.779651; -2.427517

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