Embracing the Future with Innovation and Excellence

The Queen's Anniversary Prize, awarded to SRUC this week.

The past week has marked a monumental achievement for SRUC as we were honoured with the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize at Buckingham Palace, presented by Her Majesty The Queen. This accolade is a testament to the relentless dedication, innovation, and hard work of our entire team at SRUC, from our esteemed vet services to the broader academic and support staff who contribute daily to our mission. I am incredibly proud of them all.

The ceremony at the palace and the reception that followed at the Farmer's Club in Whitehall were not just celebrations of our past achievements but also an opportunity to look ahead to the future of SRUC. I was delighted to be able to introduce distinguished speakers, including Anne Seaton, Charles Milne, Prof. Caroline Argo, Sir Pete Downes, Nigel Millar, and Rt Hon Prof Lord Trees, each bringing invaluable insights into the challenges and opportunities facing the veterinary and agricultural sectors today.

Their discussions on the unique aspects of our new School of Veterinary Medicine, the critical skills gaps, the importance of authentic training environments, widening access to veterinary education, and the potential impact on the veterinary and rural sector, underscored the vital role SRUC plays in shaping the future of our country's natural economy.

Reflecting on the week’s events, I am reminded of the importance of not just celebrating our successes but also of looking forward with an ambitious, even audacious, strategy. The introduction of our new School of Veterinary Medicine, Scotland’s first new vet school in 150 years, is a prime example of this forward-thinking approach. It signifies our commitment to the next generation—those who will power our natural economy in the years to come. As the demand for food grows with our population, so too does the need for skilled veterinarians to ensure the health and welfare of livestock, numbers of which are increasing year-on-year in the UK.

Tertiary education is at the heart of our mission. With the pursuit of degree-awarding powers, SRUC is poised to redefine what it means to provide education, research, consulting, and outreach in the agricultural and veterinary sciences. This represents a pivotal shift in our identity and purpose, aligning perfectly with the need for the tertiary education sector to reinvigorate its mission and relevance in today's world.

Our strategy is clear: to foster innovation, drive sustainable practices, and contribute to a thriving natural economy. The Queen’s Anniversary Prize recognition we've received is most welcome, but it would be a waste if it didn’t also represent a springboard for further action. It's a reminder that our work has never been more relevant or necessary. The challenges of today—climate change, food security, and biodiversity loss—require us to push the boundaries of what's possible, to innovate, and to lead with courage and conviction.

As we celebrate this remarkable milestone, let's also commit to the journey ahead. Let's continue to innovate, to educate, and to lead in the development of a sustainable, productive, and resilient natural economy. With the support of our community, the guidance of our esteemed colleagues, and the dedication of our students and staff, the future of SRUC is bright, filled with the promise of innovation and the potential for transformative impact on our world.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us on this journey. Here's to the next chapter in SRUC's story, one that we write together, driven by purpose, passion, and the pursuit of excellence.

Posted by Wayne Powell on 23/02/2024

Tags: Awards
Categories: SRUC and Campuses