I was incredibly pleased with last week’s announcement that we now have a brand new University in the constituency. The Government have awarded Hartpury University the new title after the Privy Council’s decision to approve their application.
This decision followed a stringent and rigorous assessment process and I have supported Hartpury’s leadership team over the last few years by talking to Ministers and ensuring that colleagues in Government understood what a significant project this is.
This news means Hartpury University graduates will be recognised globally, illustrating the standards and quality of the teaching, learning and research that is being conducted right here in the Forest of Dean constituency.
Hartpury’s journey towards achieving university status over the past six years has included being granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers and receiving the Gold award in the Teaching Excellence Framework.
The facilities on the campus are second to none and I have visited on numerous occasions during my 13 years as Member of Parliament. This has included using the classrooms in the Equine Centre for my Disability Confident seminar in February 2015 and arranging for the then Defra Minister Rory Stewart to visit in March 2016.
Indeed, I had the pleasure of being at the campus just a few days ahead of the University announcement, when I attended their annual “Wellfest” event. This event saw a number of Gloucestershire organisations in attendance and built on the “Outstanding” Ofsted grade awarded for the pastoral care and support provided to students. During the event I spoke to a range of different exhibitors including Gloucestershire Constabulary, Hope Support Services, Winston’s Wish and Pets as Therapy.
I know that achieving University status has been an ambition for Vice-Chancellor Russell Marchant and his team for the last six years. I look forward to seeing Hartpury University flourish in the years to come and they will have my full support.
Following the opening of the new Gloucestershire College campus in Cinderford and some excellent GCSE and A-Level results from our schools, this has certainly been a positive few weeks for education in the Forest of Dean.