Royal Agricultural University

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Royal Agricultural University
The Royal Agricultural University.png
Motto Latin: Avorum Cultus Pecorumque;
(from Virgil's Georgics)
"Caring for the Fields
and the Beasts"
Type Public
Established 2013 - University status
1845 - College
President HRH The Prince of Wales
Principal Professor Joanna Price
Students 1,280 (2016/17)[1]
Undergraduates 1,030 (2016/17)[1]
Postgraduates 250 (2016/17)[1]
Location Cirencester, Gloucestershire, UK
Campus Rural
Colours      Black, maroon, yellow
Website rau.ac.uk
Royal Agricultural University logo.jpg

The Royal Agricultural University or RAU (previously known as the Royal Agricultural College or RAC) is a university located in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, UK. Established in 1845,[2] it is the first agricultural college in the English-speaking world.[3] The university provides more than 30 land-based undergraduate and postgraduate programmes to students from over 45 countries though the School of Agriculture, the School of Business and Entrepreneurship, the School of Equine and the School of Real Estate and Land Management.

History[edit]

The Royal Agricultural University was founded as the Royal Agricultural College in 1842,[4] at a meeting of the Fairford and Cirencester Farmers’ Club. Concerned by the lack of government support for education, Robert Jeffreys-Brown addressed the meeting on "The Advantages of a Specific Education for Agricultural Pursuits".[5] A prospectus was circulated, a general committee was appointed and Earl Bathurst was elected President. Funds were raised by public subscription: much of the support came from the wealthy landowners and farmers of the day, and there was no government support. Construction of the main building, in Victorian Tudor style, began in April 1845 and was designed by S. W. Daukes and John R. Hamilton, and built by Thomas Bridges of Cirencester.[6] The first 25 students were admitted to the College in September 1845.

Queen Victoria granted a Royal Charter to the College in 1845 and sovereigns have been patrons ever since, visiting the College in every reign. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales became President in 1982.

The College gained full university status in 2013 and changed its name accordingly.[7] It had 1,280 students in the 2016/17 academic year[1] and saw a 49% rise in applications between 2008 and 2013.[8] The Royal Agricultural University was named the safest university in the South West in 2013,[9] and is ranked top in the UK for spending on facilities.[10]

Farms[edit]

The University operates three farms close to the campus:

  • Coates Manor Farm is predominantly arable cropped with some pasture land.
  • Fossehill Farm provides polo and hunter livery stabling and associated exercise facilities.
  • Harnhill Manor Farm was purchased in 2009 and consists of around 491 hectares (1223 acres) of land. The farm was managed organically for many years but all the land apart from the outdoor-pig unit was taken out of organic management. The farm carries a 150-sow outdoor pig herd, managed as a joint venture with a business partner, alongside a 350-ewe breeding flock. Arable cropping is rotated with forage crops grown to support the livestock enterprises.[11]

In 2011, an old sheep shed at the front of the farm complex was turned into the 'Rural Innovation Centre' a building designed for the training of students and members of the public in vocational skills such as rough-terrain forklift truck driving, blacksmithing, chainsaw and welding course, etc. The building cost £1.2 Million to transform.[12] The RIC was officially opened in March 2014 by Sir John Beddington and the site was visited in November 2013 by HRH Prince Charles.

Sport[edit]

The University has a range of sports facilities on campus, including a gym, an all-weather pitch, and squash and tennis courts. Students participate in a wide range of sports including; clay pigeon shooting, cricket, equestrian, field sports (hunting, fishing and shooting), football, golf, lacrosse, hockey, netball, polo, rugby, rifle shooting, tennis and yachting.[13]

The Royal Agricultural University is just one of three remaining British universities (the others being the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford) to maintain their own beagle pack. Founded in 1889, the RAC Beagles is run by the students who whip in and hunt the hounds, and until the 2004 hunting ban, hunter hares in the countryside around Cirencester.[14]

The University competes in the BUCS League.[15]

Enterprise and Entrepreneurship[edit]

The Royal Agricultural University[16] provides students with world class entrepreneurial extra-curricular activities. These activities include weekly inspiration and developmental sessions, a vibrant student enterprise society and an entrepreneurship programme titled: Think It, Try It, Launch It, Grow It.

This programme culminates with The Grand Idea competition, whose winners of the last ten years are:

Royal Agricultural University students also have the opportunity to be part of a team running one of the three student-led businesses which provide excellent skills development opportunities while running a real business:

  • Muddy Wellies – a craft ale and cider and 10p from every bottle sold goes into the RAU’s First Steps fund to help students start their own businesses. More information via http://www.muddywellies.org.uk/
  • Cotswold Hills Wine – launched in 2017, Cotswold Hills white wine is produced from the grapes grown on our vineyard just outside Cirencester. Students have the opportunity to get involved in almost all aspects of the process from vine to retail. As with Muddy Wellies, proceeds support students develop their own concepts.
  • Cotswold Hills Honey – to be launched in 2018.

The Royal Agricultural University also has a strong curriculum emphasis on student entrepreneurship education with the aim of developing the agricultural entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs of the future. Our approach to entrepreneurship and small business management is based on practice informed by theory, undertaken in an experiential learning environment where students engage with agri-entrepreneurs, their businesses and our local rural entrepreneurial ecosystem. All students have access to the Growth Hub, Farm491 and Rural Innovation Centre to further develop their business idea both as students and after graduation.

The university has been recognised a number of times, most recently being shortlisted for a Guardian University award 2018 in the Enterprise and Employability category.

Research[edit]

In the REF 2014, the university came 29th and last in the UK for Agriculture. Some of the staff have been evaluated in the Research Assessment Exercise which recognised the importance of their research at national and, to a lesser extent, international levels.[17]

Library[edit]

The university library holds around 40,000 print volumes, nearly 1,000 current journal subscriptions, more than 40,000 e-books and a growing number of full-text databases.[citation needed] The main collection is supplemented by a support collection and a historical collection of texts, primarily on agriculture and estate/land management, dating back to the 16th century. The library also holds the RAU archive, a collection of documents relating to the institution since its foundation.

Patrons[edit]

Since the RAU was founded in 1845, its patron has been the reigning monarch.[18]

Notable people[edit]

Staff[edit]

  • James Buckman - professor of geology, botany, and zoology from 1848 to 1863.
  • John D. Custance - professor of agricultural science in the late 1870s, later was responsible for establishing Roseworthy Agricultural College in South Australia.[19]
  • John Scott, on the staff shortly from 1880, later became known as a tractor pioneer.
  • Sir Emrys Jones, former chief adviser to the Minister of Agriculture from 1967 to 1973, and director of the Government's Agricultural and Development Advisory Service (ADAS), was Principal of the college from 1973 until 1978. He described his time at Cirencester as the most enjoyable period in his life.[20] In 2011, a new teaching facility at the college was named in his honour.[21] For university applicants with a connection to Wales, a scholarship has been set up that carries the former principal's name.[22]
  • Edward William Prevost Professor of Chemistry 1879 to 1881 then retired to be a farmer

Alumni[edit]

Royal Agricultural University graduates have won a number of awards and prizes, including the Farmers Weekly Young Farmer Of The Year Award (James Price 2009[23] and Adrian Ivory 2008[24]).

Notable students from the institution include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "2016/17 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (CSV). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 25 March 2018. 
  2. ^ The Times Friday, 15 August 1845; pg. 6; Issue 19003; col D
  3. ^ RAU - History & Heritage. Retrieved on 14 November 2015.
  4. ^ The American Journal of Education, Volume 22, Henry Barnard, F.C. Brownell, 1871
  5. ^ The History of the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester Roger Sayce, p.1
  6. ^ Historic England. "Royal Agricultural College - Cirencester (1187418)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 October 2017. 
  7. ^ "BBC News - "New" Universities Set to Be Created in England". BBC News. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "RAU welcomes more students as UCAS applications hit record high". RAU.ac.uk. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2015. 
  9. ^ "The Complete University Guide Reveals Best, Worst Universities for Student-Related Crimes in South West". Thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "Top UK University League Tables and Rankings 2015". Thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "RAU - Harnhill Manor Farm". Rau.ac.uk. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  12. ^ "RAU - Rural Innovation Centre". Rau.ac.uk. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  13. ^ "RAU - Sports and Clubs". Rau.ac.uk. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  14. ^ "RAU website". Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  15. ^ "BUCScore - Royal Agricultural University Profile". BUCS. 
  16. ^ "Enterprise". Royal Agricultural University. 
  17. ^ [1][dead link]
  18. ^ "Why RAU?". Royal Agricultural University. 
  19. ^ "The Government Model Farm". Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904). SA: National Library of Australia. 5 August 1882. p. 9. Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  20. ^ "Sir Emrys Jones". Telegraph.co.uk. 14 July 2000. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  21. ^ "RAU - Buildings". Rau.ac.uk. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  22. ^ "RAU - Sir Emrys Jones Memorial Trust Scholarships". Rau.ac.uk. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  23. ^ "FW Awards 2009 winner: Young Farmer of the Year - James Price - Farmers Weekly". Farmers Weekly. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  24. ^ "Adrian Ivory crowned Farmers Weekly Farmer of the Year". Farmers Weekly. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 

External links[edit]