Harper Adams University is a public university located close to the village of Edgmond (near Newport), in Shropshire, England. It is a specialist provider of higher education for the agricultural and rural sector. Thomas Harper Adams, a wealthy Shropshire gentleman farmer who had died in 1892, bequeathed his estate 'for the purpose of teaching practical and theoretical agriculture'. There are currently more than 4,000 students at the institution, 50 percent of whom are undergraduates.
It is currently ranked in the top 10 for graduate employment in the UK. Harper Adams’s most popular degrees are undergraduate studies in Food Science, and Agriculture and Forestry, which offer a mix of practical and academic teaching. A partnership set up in 2004 between Harper Adams and Beijing Agricultural College also offers Chinese students two different degrees that they can complete at the British university. All undergraduate courses include a 12-month commercial placement spent away from the university, where students can gain practical experience in the workplace before they graduate.
The average course costs £9,000 per year. International fees are a fraction higher at £10,200, or £3,100 during their placement year. Harper Adams is a lead academic sponsor of the JCB Academy which opened in 2010. The JCB Academy was the first university technical college to be established in England. In 2012, Harper Adams was granted 'university' status, ending the institution's long history of being a college and simultaneously signalling the beginning of a new era. The granting of university status represented the establishment of Shropshire's first university. The campus is in parkland on the outskirts of Edgmond near Newport, Shropshire. Since 2000, the college has rapidly expanded and improved existing facilities, while introducing new ones.
In 2003, the new Bamford Library opened. A year later, investments in new sports facilities followed. The firm Dairy Crest built an innovation centre on the campus in 2015 costing £4M, transferring around 40 members of its staff there from the research and development section at the closed Crudgington creamery site.
In 2011, the university was placed 49th in the top 50 universities in the UK for the first timein to the Sunday Times University Guide. In April 2016, Harper Adams was named ‘University of the Year’ in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards; the rankings table is the only one based entirely on student opinion. Harper Adams has a variety of sports clubs, including rugby, rowing, Association football, equestrianism, mountain biking, clay pigeon shooting and hockey. The university competes in the British Universities and Colleges Sport leagues and championships.