We have top class universities in Gloucestershire

Author
Ian Mean
Director of Business West Gloucestershire | Vice Chair of GfirstLEP | Business West
29th November 2023

Our three universities in Gloucestershire form a very strong combination to help develop our county’s economy if they work in true partnership with each other.

This is my conclusion after seeing first hand  over the last few weeks how all three are making big strides to increase their contribution to make themselves more attractive to students and to more partnerships working with our businesses.

At the University of Gloucestershire, there is now a new Vice Chancellor in place. Clare Marchant was formerly chief executive at UCAS in Cheltenham.

And at Hartpury University and College, we have a relatively new Vice Chancellor in Professor Andy Collop.

I was at a round table meeting with the Western Gateway partnership at Hartpury recently, director John Wilkinson and his team were very impressed by what they saw and heard.

Hartpury’s agricultural, sports and equine facilities are top class.

And last week, I was at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester for an Honorary Fellows evening.

What impressed me about the RAU was the international level of their research expertise.

Vice Chancellor Peter McCaffery said half of their research was deemed to be “world leading and international in quality”.

He added: ”We are the leading specialist university for research in England. Indeed, three members of our Professoriate are in the University of Stanford’s list of the top 2 per cent of influential scientists in the world.”

Real partnerships like this are so important to the financial stability of our universities.

Tough times are ahead for all universities so it is vital that they develop both knowledge and business partnerships together.

So, here in Gloucestershire, I believe that we now have more enlightened people at the very top of our universities who are up for the challenge of working together in partnership far more.

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