Russell Marchant Hartpury College 200x150MBA, Cert.Ed, BSc (Hons)


Russell graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in agriculture and has spent 30 years in land-based education, during which time he gained an MBA.

Russell Marchant is the current Principal of Hartpury College and University Centre in Gloucestershire. The campus covers more than 360 hectares, is the world’s largest equine education facility and regularly wins national titles in rugby, football, netball, rowing and golf.

The College has 2,000 students studying A-levels, BTEC Diplomas and short courses. In 2016, Hartpury again ranked as the top specialist land-based college in England for its vocational BTEC courses, with the average grade being a Distinction and students making more progress from their starting points than at any similar college.

Hartpury University Centre is an Associate Faculty of the University of the West of England (UWE) and has more than 1,500 students completing foundation degrees, honours degrees and postgraduate qualifications in equine, sport and animal and agriculture studies.

Since Russell took over the reins in September 2012, Hartpury has received a hugely positive report from the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) – the independent body that monitors standards and quality in UK higher education. The number of people studying for university level qualifications at Hartpury has also hit an all-time high and the latest National Student Survey (NSS) showed that student satisfaction at Hartpury rose again to 86% in 2015 – up 9% since 2010-11. The College’s most recent Ofsted inspection – looking at residential provision – saw Hartpury achieve a grade of Outstanding.

He has also overseen investment in a state-of-the-art £3.5million College Learning Centre, a new University Land-based Centre and Veterinary Nursing Centre, a new farm facility and animal science labs, plus the complete redevelopment of a 24-hour University Learning Centre and new student catering facilities.

Prior to joining Hartpury, he was responsible for leading the development of Barony College – the most specialist land-based college in Scotland – which consistently achieved high financial security ratings and excellent HMI reports. Starting out as a senior lecturer in Business Management there in 1986, he became deputy principal in 1989 and then carried out the role of Principal and Chief Executive from 2001 to 2012.

He has also represented land-based interests on the Scottish Funding Council’s funding methodology review group and is a published author.
He has a keen interest in rugby and led the development of Dumfries Saints RFC as President and Director of Rugby as they rose to Premiership level and developed a leading Youth Academy in partnership with the local council and the Scottish Rugby Union. He’s also been a key supporter of Hartpury RFC as they have risen to National League One to become the highest placed university side in the UK. He also loves the countryside, photography and playing the bagpipes!