New Harper veterinary school appoints first head

A new English veterinary school, set up as a joint venture between Harper Adams and Keele University, has appointed its first head. The first students for the school are set to enrol in September 2020.

Dr. Matthew Jones joins the school from the University of Surrey, where he is currently director of Veterinary Partnerships and Animal Resources and was previously director of Clinical Education.

Track record

Having completed an undergraduate degree in cell biology and a PhD in radiation oncology at the University of Liverpool, Dr. Jones subsequently worked in the Veterinary Pathology department at Liverpool, before going on to complete his degree in Veterinary Science.

He began his veterinary career working at a companion animal and equine practice. However, he later moved into the pharmaceutical industry – initially with Merial, and then with Novartis Animal Health.

In 2014, he joined the University of Surrey Veterinary School as part of the senior management team.

Prof. Jonathan Wastling, pro vice-chancellor and dean of Natural Sciences at Keele University, said: “The Harper and Keele Veterinary School aims to prepare industry-ready graduates who are well placed to establish a career in the modern veterinary profession and Matt’s experience of working with partners from across the sector will be invaluable.

“As a talented and well-respected figure in veterinary education, we are delighted to welcome him into the post, which he will formally take up in August.”

Dr. Jones said: “To be able to lead the development of a new school built on the already strong foundations of the two universities is a huge privilege. My aim is to blend these academic strengths and clinical facilities with a partnership-based approach integrating the vet school with the wider profession.”

Prof. Peter Mills, deputy vice-chancellor of Harper Adams University, added: “We are very excited to welcome Matt Jones as head of the Harper and Keele Veterinary School, which sees its first intake of students in 2020.

“His broad range of experience and expertise as well as strong leadership qualities will ensure the School has the right foundations on which to build its future.”