Dr Becky Taylor And Dr Simon Bicknell

Hartpury investing in staff to enhance student experience

Dr Becky Taylor And Dr Simon Bicknell

Hartpury University has announced two experienced appointments to its senior leadership team as part of its continuing focus on the student experience and ongoing investment in employees and facilities. 

Dr Becky Taylor has joined the specialist institution as Dean of Enhancement, focusing on leading and supporting colleagues to improve all aspects of academic provision and associated professional services. 

Dr Taylor has gained a wealth of experience from both land-based and university sectors in previous roles, managing a number of strategic projects with a focus on curriculum development and quality enhancement. 

Dr Simon Bicknell has been appointed Head of Student Experience focusing on student retention, engagement and induction, working across academic and professional staff teams and in partnership with Student Advisors. Simon has held a number of senior academic posts within the UK education sector, most recently as Senior Lecturer in Academic Work Related Learning at Newman University. 

Alongside a number of major developments on campus, their appointments are another indication of Hartpury’s commitment to providing a high-quality learning environment for its current and future students. 

Hartpury University holds Teaching Excellence Framework Gold, a government award that marks the highest quality teaching in the UK. Graduate employment figures are also outstanding, with 96% of graduates securing employment, further study or another purposeful activity within 15 months (Graduate Outcomes, 2020). 

Russell Marchant, Vice-Chancellor of Hartpury University, said: “We’re delighted to welcome both Becky and Simon to the Hartpury family and we look forward to them being part of our exciting journey and supporting our strategic business plans. 

“Their experience will make a valuable contribution to ensuring our programmes remain current and relevant and that we provide a positive setting where students are inspired to fulfil their goals and aspirations.” 

In addition to making key appointments, Hartpury is investing in a range of new facilities, including an enlarged University Learning Hub on campus, to further enhance the student experience. Furthermore, the specialist institution has also joined forces with Forest of Dean District Council and Cinderford Town Council to submit a bid for up to £20million to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund. 

If successful, the bid would include a new University Innovation, Careers and Enterprise Learning Centre at Hartpury and a satellite sports facility for its students at the Five Acres site in the Forest of Dean.