RAU students graduate in the Cirencester sunshine

29 Jul 2022

More than 250 students from the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) graduated, surrounded by their friends and family, at the campus today.

The students, from across the University’s wide range of courses, were awarded with their degrees in a ceremony in a marquee on the University’s front lawn before enjoying celebrations with their families and fellow students.

Addressing the graduands and their guests at the ceremony, RAU Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter McCaffery said: “The Royal Agricultural College was founded in 1845 and was the very first agricultural college in the English-speaking world with a motto of “Arvorum Cultus Pecorumque” which means “caring for the fields and the beasts”.

“We have been developing leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators for more than 175 years and our mission today bears testament to the foresight of our founders as we aim to equip a new generation of graduates to meet the most pressing challenges that face us in the world today including climate change, food security, and sustainable land use.

“In gaining a degree from the RAU you join a family of more than 17,000 alumni worldwide. RAU graduates have an excellent track record in making their mark in the world and, although in these uncertain times it may initially be more difficult than in the past, don’t give up on your dreams. The world will change and you can help it change!

“Someone once said that there are three kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wondered what on earth happened! I know you will all be making things happen.”

The ceremony was also attended by Chair of the RAU’s Governing Council Dame Fiona Reynolds, as well as other members of the Governing Council, and VIP guests including Lord and Lady Bathurst, Lord Apsley, Mayor of Cirencester Sabrina Dixon, High Sheriff of Gloucestershire Air Marshall Sir Dusty Miller, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire Roger Deeks, and Dr Caroline Mills from the University of Gloucestershire.

Professor McCaffery added: “As a relatively new university, the RAU continues to go from strength to strength. Earlier this year, the 2022 Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessed more than half the research carried out at the RAU as “world leading and international in quality”. The RAU is the leading small specialist university in England for research.

“And in this year’s National Student Survey (NSS), published earlier this month, we were ranked the top university in the UK for being a Learning Community as well as the fourth highest university for Overall Student Satisfaction across English universities.

“We are very proud of all those who have been awarded their degrees today and wish them luck as they go forward to the next stage in their lives.”