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Strong recognition for Agriculture, Forestry & Environmental Science at Bangor University in latest world university rankings.

The latest QS Top Universities rankings have seen Bangor University rated in the top 200 universities in the World in three subject areas. Bangor has retained its position in the top 150 universities worldwide for Agriculture and Forestry and has risen into the top 200 universities for Environmental Science. The rankings take into account a range of metrics that cover research and reputation amongst employers and academics.

Agriculture and Forestry have been foci for teaching and research at Bangor for over one hundred years and are now key academic components of the School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography (SENRGy) within the University’s College of Natural Sciences. Bangor is 6th highest in the UK in the 2016 QS rankings.  Exciting current research includes the microbiology and the economics of tree diseases; sustainable intensification of upland agriculture and life cycle assessment.

Meanwhile, in environmental science Bangor is ranked in the top 20 in the UK and has secured research funding worth millions of pounds over the last five years including major projects on renewable energy; cycling of carbon, nutrients, pollutants and pathogens from the land to river catchments and coastal waters; impacts of flooding; the contribution of land use to greenhouse gas emissions; biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services and impacts on poverty alleviation; environmental DNA.

Bangor’s inclusion in the Top Universities world rankings reflects the global reputation of the institution in Agriculture, Forestry and Environmental Science. Students from over 105 different countries have graduated in forestry and related subjects from Bangor University whilst the University’s agricultural research has developed new crop varieties now feeding millions of people in South Asia. Bangor also recognises the importance of widening participation, and has been at the forefront of developing the provision of postgraduate distance learning courses in these subjects. Students can now study for an MSc in Forestry, Tropical Forestry or Food Security in the Changing Environment via distance-learning.   MSc Tropical Forestry has been selected by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission to receive funding so that scholarships worth over £12,000 can be offered to students from Commonwealth countries.

John Healey, Professor of Forest Sciences, noted “this recognition of the high international stature of our research and teaching in agriculture and forestry reflects both the long and successful history of Bangor’s work in these subjects and the high profile of our current activity.  Bangor is at the forefront of research on key international challenges in forestry including sustainable forest management, conservation of forest carbon stocks and biodiversity, restoration of degraded forests, and the socio-economic components of managing forest resources so that they produce equitable benefits for local people. Through our major programme of international research and education we are able to bring the latest knowledge and innovation into our degree courses, research projects and advice to policy makers.”

The School’s Henfaes Research Centre, seven miles from Bangor plays an important role it in its multidisciplinary research, and in student project work. The 252 hectare site at Henfaes combines a working sheep farm, currently managed under the Glastir Agri-Environment Scheme, an internationally important woodland National Nature Reserve and facilities for research and teaching in a range of areas, including upland and lowland agriculture, forestry, hydrology, soils, environmental science and conservation. The farm is also one of the UK government’s flagship sites for sustainable intensification. 

Davey Jones, Professor of Soil and Environmental Science, also welcomed the recognition. He added, “The University is engaged in a range of multi- and inter-disciplinary research activities that not only result in a better understanding of key environmental issues, but also involve the development and implementation of innovative technologies. Integration of our internationally-recognised research with our teaching also allows us to educate and train future land managers, regulators, policy makers and researchers”.

Publication date: 23 March 2016