Celebrations of University Status at House of Parliment

Last week Royal Agricultural University (RAU) staff attended a reception at the Houses of Parliament, organised by Guild HE, to mark the achievement of eleven institutions gaining university status. 

RAU Principal Professor Chris Gaskell CBE, Vice Chairman of the Governing Council, Julian Sayers, Theresa Chapman, Director of Finance and Administration and Charlie Denman, Student Union Officer, all attended the reception in the very grand Speakers’ chambers in the Houses of Parliament.  

The reception was organised by GuildHE, the representative body for specialist institutions, who had done much of the work behind the scenes around each institution gaining university status. There were over a hundred people present, including the contingent from the RAU, MP for the Cotswolds Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and other supporters from both Houses. 

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, who has been very supportive – and indeed implemented the changes needed – spoke with some pride that this was the biggest single expansion of the university system since 1992, and that it recognised that status was a function of quality not size. In by her own admission a remarkable show of cross party agreement, the Shadow Minister, Shabana Mahmood, also welcomed and congratulated the new universities. 

“It was very good to be part of it, and London looked very good for a few hours in the summer evening sunlight,” said Professor Gaskell. 

The Royal Agricultural University will be holding its own celebrations in Cirencester Parish Church on Friday 28th June, as previously reported, with local residents invited to join with staff and students to commemorate this momentous occasion. For more information or to RSVP your attendance please view our forthcoming events online.

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