Outstanding teaching, learning and student outcomes
We hold the only Gold award in Gloucestershire and sit in the top 20% in the UK.
Hartpury College was established after World War II as an agricultural education centre with only 50 students. Today, we have more than 3500 with record numbers of students studying at both the College and the University Centre.
The College remained relatively unchanged until 1990, when a new Principal initiated a rapid expansion programme, starting with the provision of a larger variety of College courses
The first higher education degree in Equine Studies was introduced in 1992, followed by the first degree programme in Equine Science in 1994. In 1999, the first Masters degree programme opened with the first PhD student coming in 2004.
Hartpury is an Associate Faculty of the University of the West of England (UWE) and has been working in partnership with UWE since 1997. It is currently working towards ‘Total Degree Awarding Powers’ with the aim of awarding its own degrees, potentially from September 2018.
Hartpury has had the acorn as its symbol for over 20 years. More than just a reflection of the beautiful countryside that surrounds us, it symbolises the potential that lies within us all.
Hartpury provides everything the acorn will need to grow - the best facilities, the best staff, and the best environment to support students’ ability to grow strong.
In 1948 the County Council decided to buy Hartpury House and Home Farm, which totalled 350 acres and paid around £47,000 for both properties. The house and out-buildings were altered to provide dormitories, classrooms, offices, dining and cooking facilities, an assembly hall, library and perhaps most importantly - a common room. A poultry unit was established at Hartpury House and the farm was reorganised to include a new piggery and milking parlour.
The Institute opened in 1949, and the opening ceremony was attended by the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Tom Williams, who performed the official opening.
Only male students were admitted and around 50 students were enrolled on the first course, many of whom were ex-servicemen. Lectures were held in the morning and practical work was undertaken in the afternoon. Four departments existed in 1949: Agriculture, Horticulture, Poultry and Rural Home crafts.
In the early days, students were awarded County Certificates of Agriculture, but in the early 1950’s, in addition to this award, students sat examinations for the National Certificate in Agriculture.
1953 saw the college enrol the first intake of female students. According to the records there were around a dozen women aged between 17 and 30 who studied the general course which included farming, poultry, horticulture and bees.
“Hartpury was a special place as all the students wanted to be there. Together with my fellow governors, in our capacity as a governing body, we aspire to ensure that the student experience today is as good as it was when I was at Hartpury and that lifelong friendships and learning are formed.” Martin Baber, former student and current College Governor
Day release classes were introduced in the county, initially with no national qualifications, but later qualifications were provided by examinations with the City & Guilds of London or the Birmingham based Union of Educational Institutes. A new initiative was started with the introduction of an Advanced National Certificate in Agriculture course, which allowed students to study for an additional year after the completion of the National Certificate in Agriculture. Home Farm was also changing. Two extra milking stalls were added; a bulk tank replaced the churn milking system. Beef cattle were also introduced.
Sport was an important feature of Wednesday afternoons and weekends and remains so today for those students who represent the College at a variety of disciplines. Three-act plays were produced annually, and the Old Students’ Association, with a fair degree of support, had an annual magazine, dinners, dances and Old Students lectures for many years.
Mr Griffiths retired and David Henderson was appointed as the new Principal; David had been working at the College since 1957. One of the new Principal’s first tasks was to reapply to the London Authorities to start a course leading to the Ordinary National Diploma in Agriculture (OND) and permission was given to start the course in 1978. A new structure was introduced in the appointment of governors and new methods of financing the College were started. The number of part-time students rose dramatically as did the number of staff.
A young Cotswold shepherd, Peter Brain, was selected to represent Gloucestershire and the neighbouring counties in the finals of the National Farm Apprentice of the year award. Peter first worked at Manor Farm, Notgrove, before leaving in 1978 to spend a year fulltime at Hartpury College.
Dairyman James Moore, 21, from Tuffley, Gloucester beat 400 other entrants to become the English Farm Apprentice of the Year. James attended Hartpury College where he studied a City and Guilds in Agriculture. James spent his £500 prize money on a year working in New Zealand
Malcolm Wharton was appointed as the new Principal and his first task in this new role was to address students and staff at the 40th Anniversary. Malcolm was previously Vice-Principal of the Duchy College of Agriculture, Cornwall, where he was closely associated with the development of Equestrian courses.
The nineties were a period of great change for the College and the first development was the introduction of two new courses – the National Certificate in the Management of Horses and the BTEC First Diploma in Agriculture. Both were popular and with new courses developed in Animal Care and Rural Leisure, student numbers started to increase.
Hartpury College introduced its first higher education programme in Equine Studies and Hartpury’s love affair with all things equine had truly began. Computer technology was also brought in to help with the milking of 120 Friesian cows at Hartpury College’s Home Farm. The College was one of the first in the country to use this latest technology which identified cows by a programmed number, which enabled tabs to be kept on milk yields and which also fed each cow individually measured amounts of food.
In April 1993, the College became an independent, self-governing corporation run by a Board of Governors and Directorate headed by the Principal Malcolm Wharton. Since independence the College expanded rapidly and had over 1,300 full-time students enrolled. Nearly 200 staff supported this student population and the College began an ambitious programme to develop the campus and its facilities.
Hartpury is fast becoming the leading equestrian college in the country and was selected as the venue for the 1994 World Dressage Championships for Disabled Riders.
The Laughton’s Farm Equestrian Stud Unit is completed. Hartpury College enrolled 1,000 full-time students: 44% were male and 56% were female. 53% were aged 16-19 which reflected the increasing interest in the College’s further education provision and 47% were over 19 studying higher education on campus. New halls of residence had just been completed which allowed up to 400 students to be residential on campus.
The Princess Royal visited Hartpury College twice in one year! She was guest of honour at the 60th Anniversary Young Farmers’ Club Show in May and she also opened the European Pony Championships. This was the first time that the Championships had ever been held in Great Britain.
The College joins up with the University of the West of England to become an Associate Faculty. The partnership benefits both institutions providing a long sought-after land-based faculty for UWE, whilst increasing the proportion of higher education programmes offered by Hartpury.
A new degree in Animal Science is validated by UWE’s validating committee. The College also launches three-sub-divisions: Hartpury Conferencing – promoting the residential and conferencing facilities available on campus, Hartpury International – promoting the work of Hartpury overseas and recruiting international students, and Hartpury Training – which offered specialist training programmes. The College wins £100,000 University for industry funding for its programme to produce multimedia materials for farmers and farm workers, including new machine technology and agricultural legislation.
UWE validates new degree programmes in Veterinary Nursing Science, Equine Business Management and a Masters Degree programme in Equine Science. A new Animal Science Centre opens, comprising an Equine Therapy Centre and Veterinary Practice. One of Hartpury’s degree students won first and second place in classes at the 1999 British National Dressage Championships. Louise Jeffreys had been born with cerebral palsy and suffering from meningitis which left her with epilepsy at the age of seven. She also survived a fall which crushed several vertebrae in her spine just two years previously. The intake of international students to the College also increased by 30% in this year. An International Society was established for all overseas students which also provided home students with a club to learn about new cultures.
A new Animal Hospital and Small Animal Veterinary practice opened. An extension to the Sports Hall was completed and included Human Performance Analysis Laboratories. The Gloucestershire Rugby Academy began in partnership with local Guinness Premiership side Gloucester Rugby. The facility, the first of many academies to be launched at Hartpury, provided talented athletes with the opportunity to continue with their academic education while further developing their abilities and potential to become elite athletes within their chosen sport. Also in this year, for the first time ever, Great Britain was selected by the FEI (International Equestrian Federation) to host all three disciplines of the European Young Riders Championships and Hartpury was picked as the venue for the event.
Hartpury Golf Academy finalised links with the Hilton Puckrup Hall Hotel and Golf Club, near Tewkesbury, for the venue to become the Academy’s home golf club. Julian Saunders became the first member of the Hartpury Rugby Academy to be selected to represent his country. Julian, 20, represented the WRU Welsh Students against their French counterparts at Tournon in March 2001.
The College would soon have accommodation on site for nearly half of its 1500 full-time students. The College would continue to provide a wide range of further education courses but extended its range of higher education programmes to include: Sports Science, Agriculture and Land Management, Agriculture and Conservation.
Students studying on the National Diploma in Animal Care course took part in the first annual study tour to Borneo in June of this year. Also in this year, Hartpury College launched a new Football Academy in September 2002 to promote youth development in football and allow students to enhance their future prospects in the academic field. It was run in conjunction with the Youth Development Scheme at Cheltenham Town Football Club. The South of England Modern Pentathlon Academy (SEMPA) was also opened at Hartpury College in association with The Modern Pentathlon Association of Great Britain (MPAGB). The Princess Royal visited for the official opening of the College’s new dairy unit and Hartpury helped train officials for the 2008 Beijing Olympics at its Three-Day Event.
Hartpury Rugby Academy won the final of the Ram Rugby National University 7’s Tournament against Nottingham University on Sunday 1 May, bringing the College its first BUSA Championship title. The Hartpury Football Academy also won their first major competition in April 2005 when the BUSA first team beat Manchester University in the BUSA Shield Final. Both sides achieved three goals each and the game went to penalties, with Hartpury winning by 4 goals to 2.
The inclusion of the inaugural CIC*** competition at the 2006 Mitsubishi Motors Hartpury Three Day Event in August drew the very best of British eventing. The CIC*** Event was won by British team member and Olympic rider, William Fox-Pitt, Andrew Hoy finished second for Australia and Mary King finished third. Zara Phillips used the event to ‘warm-up’ Toytown for the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, where she won individual gold! A new state-of-the-art facility was developed to support Sports Science undergraduate teaching and research into human performance parameters. The lab also supported elite Hartpury Academy of Sport athletes, helping them to improve their performance and efficiency
Hartpury welcomed the Chairman of the London Organising Committee of London 2012 Olympic Games, Lord Sebastian Coe, to officially open the new £4.6million Hartpury Arena, providing a fantastic teaching environment for equine students and top-class competition venue. The inaugural competition held in the Arena was the FEI World Para Dressage Championships. This was the first FEI World Championships to be held in Britain in over 20 years with competitors all eagerly seeking qualification for the 2008 Paralympic Games. It was also the first year that A Levels were offered at the College. There were victories over UWIC in the BUSA (British Universities Sports Association) Rugby Championship Final at Twickenham and Team Bath in the BUSA Football Final at Loftus Road. The Under-19s rugby squad claimed victory over title holders, Truro College, bringing the British Colleges Cup to Hartpury for the first time in the history of the tournament.
Hartpury College was awarded the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) Medal of Honour for outstanding service to the equestrian industry. The Hartpury College Rugby Academy first team was crowned ‘Team of the Year’ at the 2008 BBC West Sports Award ceremony. They lost only one game all season and won the Men’s Southern League, BUSA Championship and the EDF Energy Senior Vase Trophy. Hartpury was selected as one of the South West regions high quality training facilities to feature in the London Organising Committee (LOCOG) Pre-Games Training Camp Guide for the London 2012 Olympic Games – a potential training base for Equestrian and Modern Pentathlon.
Hartpury College was awarded ‘Outstanding’ following an inspection by OFSTED in November 2009, making it one of only three specialist residential colleges in the UK to be graded as Outstanding. Hartpury won their third consecutive BUCS Rugby Union Championship at Twickenham, after winning the EDF Energy Intermediate Cup four days earlier at England HQ. Hartpury College was named as a Beacon College for Rugby by the Rugby Football Union (RFU). Hartpury was only the third college in the South West to achieve this status. Hartpury underwent an extensive rebranding process in 2009 consisting of new logos and branding, corporate colours and a new look website. It was another record-breaking year for Hartpury College’s further education provision with more than 1,400 students beginning full-time courses and more than 600 Under-18s residential students.
Hartpury RFC are unbeaten this season in their 26 league games, winning the Tribute South West One West League with what is believed to be a record breaking points differential of 1,013 and gaining promotion to National League 3 South West. Hartpury College won the first RFU Champions Cup at Twickenham in May 2010. The junior first XV were crowned champions of the inaugural RFU AASE. Many Hartpury Rugby Academy players were also involved in the Under-19s Regional Academy, England Under-18s and England Under-20s teams this year. The Under-18s girls’ rugby team made their first unforgettable appearance at the Rosslyn Park National Schools Sevens and took the title. They went on to win the British Colleges Women’s Rugby Knock-out Cup. Hartpury Football Under-19s were crowned the ECFA Champions and the junior first team won the English Schools Football Association Under-18 Colleges Cup. The junior netball academy won the South West Regional Schools Competition and made the final of the British Colleges and Schools competition.
Connect is the new Hartpury Association for Alumni and Friends of the College. It is free to join for every former student, member of staff or friend of Hartpury, and as a member you will be part of our global community of over 20,000 alumni. There are lots of ways to link into this amazing network and to stay in touch with us and with your College friends. Join today and start to take advantage of the exciting opportunities and benefits Connect can offer you. Membership is free.
In the past 10 years alone, £50million has been invested to make Hartpury one of the leading sport and education campuses in the UK. And with plans for growing our student numbers further, it’s an exciting time for Hartpury. We are committed to providing an environment and support that enables our students to achieve their dreams and you can help us to help them reach their potential.