Shropshire's Harper Adams college 'to become university'

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Harper Adams University College in Shropshire is to apply for full university status after the government relaxed rules over student numbers.

It is one up to 10 smaller higher education institutions in England now eligible to become a university after the number of students required was reduced from 4,000 to 1,000.

David Llewellyn, principal at the agricultural institution in Newport, said the change was "exciting".

A new title has yet to be decided.

He said: "A university college is an institution that provides higher education that has fewer than 4,000 students.

'Made clear'

"We just happen to be small and specialist but we have exactly the same power as other universities.

"We believe that this change that the government announced yesterday will be really exciting for us.

"It allows us to apply for university title in due course when the rules of that particular process has been made clear."

Currently, the employment rate of its students 94%, which is expected to rise this year, he added.

The government described the change in student numbers as "broadening the range of institutions that can be called universities and tackling a long standing grievance".

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