The signing took place during an official visit to Den Bosch by the Harper Adams Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Llewellyn, during which he had the opportunity to see the unique HAS Food Experience event held annually at HAS and to meet senior colleagues from the University.
Harper Adams University’s links with this key European partner have strengthened and expanded over the last eighteen months with many activities and mutually beneficial visits between the two leading land-based specialist institutions. Dr Llewellyn met students on exchange from Harper Adams participating in the Food Experience, which introduces a wide range of final year student projects on food product development, innovation and marketing to leading industry figures and the wider public.
Commenting on the partnership, Dr Llewellyn said: “HAS University is similar in mission and size to Harper Adams University, and the opportunity to nurture close links is significant as we head towards the UK’s departure from the EU. Groups of students and staff from the HAS departments of Agri-Business and Animal Sciences and Welfare have undertaken study tours at Harper Adams and we are very pleased to have become a key destination for Masters study for HAS graduates. Similarly, groups of Harper Adams students and staff from the departments of Land, Farm and Agri-Business Management and Food Sciences and Agri-Food Supply Chain Management have also benefitted in recent months from spending time at HAS and by visiting Dutch businesses.
“We look forward to continuing our joint activities to help support the agri-food sectors in the Netherlands and in the UK. We have a lot to learn from each other, which is why our partnership with such a highly regarded university on mainland Europe will be an important feature of our future international activities.”
Dick Pouwels, President of HAS, added: “HAS University of Applied Science’s strengths very much complement Harper Adams University. This collaboration is really about synergy in the areas of exchange, education and research and it will benefit students, staff and the development of applied solutions for the international agri-food industry.”
Professor Wim de Koning, the main academic link at HAS, was appointed by Harper Adams as a Visiting Professor in Business and Enterprise, and has worked closely with key staff to develop collaborative research and business projects and to provide guest lectures and research supervision. Professor Wim de Koning commented: “The real importance of this partnership is that both Harper Adams and HAS students will benefit even more from learning from each other, in exchange, internship and master program opportunities.”
Harper Adams welcomed Dick Pouwels as a guest for its Graduation Ceremonies in 2017, when discussions led to agreement on further collaborative activities. Mr Pouwels also delivered a guest lecture at the University’s annual Learning and Teaching Conference, attended an annual International Dinner and met with several key staff to progress research, departmental management and e-learning developments.
The agreement cements the multi-faceted relationship between the two institutions and will enable links in teaching, research, staff and student exchanges and business developments to flourish.