Wales Office Minister Visit

Baroness Randerson, Professor April McMahon and Mark Williams MP

Baroness Randerson, Professor April McMahon and Mark Williams MP

01 November 2013

In the latest of a series of visits to Wales’ higher education facilities, Baroness Randerson visited Aberystwyth University where she met with Vice-Chancellor Professor April McMahon and the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellors, to hear how the University continues to thrive and be a leader in international research.   The University has a distinguished record of undertaking cutting edge research in a broad range of areas, recognised both nationally and internationally.  

Baroness Randerson also visited the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) on the University’s Gogerddan Campus.

Director of IBERS, Wayne Powell escorted Baroness Randerson on a tour of the internationally recognised research and teaching centre which provides a unique base for research in response to global challenges such as food security, sustainability, and the impacts of climate change.

IBERS research and inform policy on the rural economy and rural communities.  It works closely with stakeholders to ensure that the research it offers is relevant and has a keen emphasis on using their research to enhance the sustainability of land based industries. 

With 360 members of staff, IBERS is the largest Institute within Aberystwyth University, teaching 1350 undergraduate students and more than 150 postgraduate students

Business Innovation and Skills Minister, David Willetts announced in July that a new UK Innovation and Research Campus will be based at the site. The Aberystwyth Innovation and Diffusion Campus, backed by £14.5million of UK Government investment will include a commercially focused training centre, and will enable numerous departments within the University to work with IBERS to develop the bio-economy

Wales Office Minister Baroness Jenny Randerson said:

The University and IBERS specifically is making a great contribution to the Welsh economy by developing skills in a developing area and is putting Wales firmly on the map.

“IBERS attracts international attention with the work it does at their research and teaching centre. They continue to providing a unique base for research in response to global challenges such as food security, bio-energy and sustainability, and the impacts of climate change.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor, April McMahon said:

“We were delighted to welcome Baroness Randerson to Aberystwyth. The University has a great story to tell.

“The new National Plant Phenomics Centre facility at Gogerddan reflects the ambition we have as a University to contribute as an international centre of excellence, both in terms of research and in inspiring a new generation of highly trained graduates who are equipped with the skills to tackle some of the pressing environmental challenges faced by society.

“During the next three years, we are investing a further £100m in enhancing and extending our already excellent residential and teaching facilities

“It was great that Baroness Randerson is able to take time from her busy schedule to meet University staff and students and to hear about our ambitious agenda.

“We hope she had an enjoyable and inspiring morning with us.”

Wayne Powell, Director of IBERS said:

“We were delighted to welcome Baroness Randerson to IBERS Gogerddan, which is a  BBRSC sponsored Institute and future location for the Aberystwyth University Innovation and Diffusion Campus, providing a major opportunity to engage with industry to drive the economy.

“The National Plant Phenomics facility is located here – the only one of its kind in the UK and the Baroness will see how we utilise cutting edge technology in plant genetics to grow the fuel and food crops of the future.”