HARTPURY University has been ranked in the top 20 per cent in the UK for its contribution to the local economy and praised for teaching excellence - in the same month it celebrated its fifth anniversary.

In September, the Forest institution celebrated its fifth year of holding university status and was awarded two top accolades to boot.

Research England, which funds the exchange of research for higher education providers on behalf of the Government, has released its third publication of the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), which measures knowledge-sharing activity to determine an institution’s impact on the world outside of academia.

Hartpury is in the top 20 per cent for its contribution to local economic growth and ‘levelling up’, along with high engagement with small and medium sized enterprises.

During the last year, the institution has progressed with the building of a new University Learning Hub, improved car parking facilities and worked alongside partners at the Forest of Dean District Council, Cinderford Town Council, Mark Harper MP, and the GFirst LEP on the wider Levelling Up Fund vision, which will see it develop an outreach education facility at the new Five Acres leisure centre once built.

As the largest employer in the Forest of Dean, the institution is a key stakeholder in the Forest Economic Partnership and also works closely with the Gloucestershire Federation of Small Businesses, the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce and networking organisation Circle2Success.

Professor Andy Collop, Vice-Chancellor, Principal and CEO of Hartpury, said: “We’re delighted to have been ranked in the top 20% of UK universities in areas that we have been so focused on during the last few years - local growth and regeneration and working with SMEs. 

"We continue to work with our partners across the region whether in local government, schools and education, charitable organisations or business, to find ways in which we can support, collaborate and share knowledge to drive prosperity for all.”

Professor Steve Draper, Academic Dean at Hartpury University added: “We’re committed to finding innovative ways to use knowledge exchange effectively in a way that benefits business and our community.

"Our goal is to ensure that Hartpury staff and students can use their expertise to solve complex challenges and deliver economic and social benefits.”

The university is also celebrating the award of triple Gold status for Teaching Excellence.

The award places the university in the top 15 per cent in the UK for teaching, and means it is the only university in the county to hold triple Gold.

Assessing a combination of data that included a submission by the university as well as a separate student submission, the TEF panel highlighted Student Experience and Student Outcomes as being of ‘outstanding quality’.