Dorset Actor Martin Clunes becomes Hartpury University and Hartpury College’s Chancellor

Jake Brewer By Jake Brewer Feb15,2024

Hartpury University and Hartpury College are delighted to announce the appointment of esteemed British actor and presenter, Martin Clunes, as their inaugural Chancellor. Martin will serve as the honorary head of both specialist educational institutions, representing Hartpury in a ceremonial and ambassadorial capacity. 

The appointment marks an important and exciting milestone for Gloucestershire University and College which offers specialist undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and diplomas in agriculture, animal, business, equine, sport and veterinary nursing, as well as A-levels and T Levels

One of Britain’s best-loved actors, with a career spanning decades, Martin has starred in popular series and films including Doc Martin, Shakespeare in Love, and Men Behaving Badly, for which he won a Bafta. He is celebrated not only for his contribution to the arts but also for his commitment to charitable causes and the community. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List and appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) of the County of Dorset in 2019.

Martin and his family run a 130-acre farm which is home to horses, cows, sheep, chickens, dogs and cats which makes him so well-suited to the Chancellor role at Hartpury. He is an advocate for animal welfare and he shares Hartpury’s focus on driving positive change in animal and equine wellbeing through its research and University and College academic programmes. 

As well as presenting documentaries focussed on animals, conservation and the relationships between humans and animals, Martin is President of the British Horse Society, a patron of the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre, the Horse Course, Julia’s House Children’s Hospice and the Fortune Centre.

Speaking about the appointment, Martin said: “I’m deeply honoured to be appointed as the inaugural Chancellor of Hartpury University and Hartpury College. I look forward to sharing many of my passions and interests with like-minded students, staff, governors and alumni and am excited to share in their numerous success stories.

“I also look forward to advocating for the University and College’s many impressive achievements, helping to champion and support Hartpury at an exciting time in its 75-year history.”

Professor Andy Collop, Vice-Chancellor, Principal and CEO of Hartpury University and Hartpury College said: “We are delighted that Martin will become our first Chancellor and look forward to him playing a pivotal supporting role in the growth and evolution of Hartpury University and Hartpury College.

“Martin’s commitment and experience in the equestrian, agricultural, animal and countryside realms align particularly well with Hartpury’s values and specialisms. I do not doubt that he’ll contribute to Hartpury’s rich heritage and help to inspire staff and students alike”. 

Martin takes up the post as Chancellor during an exciting time; Hartpury University has recently been awarded Gold in all three areas of the Teaching Excellence Framework Gold, placing it in the top 15% of English universities, whilst Hartpury College retains Ofsted Outstanding in all areas. Martin will be officially installed as Chancellor this summer. Details will follow in due course.

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