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Gloucestershire Business News

Royal Agricultural University celebrates landmark at a distance

Freshers enjoyed a shared of a birthday cake as The Royal Agricultural University has celebrated its 175th anniversary.

The Cirencester university - the Royal Agricultural College for its first 169 years - marked the occasion with a socially-distanced cake cutting ceremony with vice-chancellor Jo Price and chairman of governors John Pain joined by the Earl and Countess Bathurst.

But more than 400 new students settling into life at the university did not miss out as the cake in the shape of the RAU's main building was shared out among them.

The vice-chancellor said: "When we launched our programme of 175th anniversary celebrations at the beginning of 2020, we could never have anticipated that it was going to be a year like no other.

"I am incredibly proud of the way our community of students and staff have adapted to lockdown, and to new ways of working, teaching, and learning.

"As a university, we were able to contribute to local initiatives such as the Feeding the 5,000 project, supporting vulnerable groups around Cirencester and accommodating the homeless, while at the same time leading research into how rural communities, businesses, and farms have adapted to the crisis."

She continued: "We may be rooted in the Cotswold countryside but our outlook has always been, and remains, truly global.

"We we proudly welcomed our first 300 students who are starting their studies at the new RAU Joint Institute for Advanced Agritechnology at Qingdao Agricultural University (QAU) in China, a major initiative that will help to expand transnational higher education in the land-based sector.

"We hope many of the 175th anniversary events we had planned can be re-scheduled in due course, but for now we are reaching out digitally as never before, with webinars, CPD, and lectures. We continue to adapt and embrace change."

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