Hartpury University and Hartpury College have appointed Professor Andy Collop as its next Vice-Chancellor, Principal and chief executive.

Professor Collop, who currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor of De Montfort University in Leicester, will take up the post when current boss Russell Marchant retires in September.

Russell Marchant has spent 10 years at the helm at Hartpury, in a 41-year career in land-based education in both England and Scotland.

Under his leadership, Hartpury University gained full University title in 2018 and now ranks in the top 20 in the UK for teaching quality, whilst the College is rated Ofsted Outstanding and the highest achieving land-based college in England.

Over the last decade, Hartpury has seen significant growth and now has 4,000 further and higher education students.

Professor Collop has a distinguished career in education spanning 25 years.

Since 2015, he has been Deputy Vice-Chancellor at De Montfort having served as interim Vice-Chancellor between 2019 and 2021.

Professor Collop joined DMU in 2011 as Pro Vice-Chancellor (PVC) and Dean of the Faculty of Technology and also served as PVC for research and innovation.

After completing a PhD in Mechanical/Civil Engineering at the University of Cambridge, Professor Collop was appointed to a lectureship in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Nottingham in 1996.

He progressed rapidly through the academic ranks to a personal Chair in Civil Engineering in 2004, and in 2006 was named a Doctor of Science (DSc) for his research into road and rail track engineering.

He has been an investigator on research grants and contracts worth in excess of £15million and has published more than 180 journal and conference papers. On a personal level, he enjoys equestrian activities including eventing and show jumping.

Edward Keene, Chair of the Board of Governors at Hartpury University and Hartpury College, commented: "Following an extensive selection process, I am delighted on behalf of the Board of Governors, to announce the appointment of Professor Collop.

"His wealth of experience and understanding of Hartpury’s values and mission, will be invaluable to drive our ambitious plans at this exciting period of development, building on the enormous progress that has been made in recent years."

Professor Collop said: "I am honoured to be invited to lead Hartpury University and College on the next exciting stage of its journey.

"Hartpury has an outstanding reputation as one of the UK’s leading specialist providers, providing high quality education focused on performance, people and passion.

"I look forward to building on Hartpury’s strengths and the fantastic legacy that Russell Marchant has created."

Russell Marchant, who will remain in post until retirement in September 2022 said: "It has been a privilege to be Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Hartpury University and Hartpury College.

"I am incredibly proud of all that we have achieved over the last decade, working with our talented and passionate community of staff and students to develop Hartpury as two outstanding specialist institutions. I look forward to seeing Hartpury continue to thrive."