A higher education expert has praised the University of Worcester's relationship with the community.

Sophie Zdatny, former Chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges System in the US, recently toured the university and was impressed by its facilities and community-based approach, and spoke with vice chancellor and chief executive Professor David Green CBE DL.

It was something of a homecoming for Mrs Zdatny, who grew up near Upton before moving to the US for her university studies.


Read more: Worcestershire's Premium Bond winners in March 2024


During her visit, Mrs Zdatny noted the positive impact of the University's growth and expansion, highlighting its role in community redevelopment.

She said: "It’s really, really impressive.

"To see what’s happened here, the buildings and growth.

"I can see how it’s really helping the community in terms of redevelopment.

"The University has expanded into areas within the community that were ripe for redevelopment."

She added: “There are similarities in the system that I was working for in the United States.

"We existed ‘for the benefit of the state of Vermont’ and we took that commitment to serve the state very seriously - with a big focus on meeting the needs of the community, particularly with respect to workforce development.

"That same focus is readily apparent at the University of Worcester.”

During her tour, Mrs Zdatny visited The Hive, a shared facility between the university and Worcestershire County Council, and viewed William Shakespeare’s marriage bond in the county archive.

She also toured the university’s School of Law, City Campus, the Three Counties School of Nursing and Midwifery clinical skills and simulation facilities, and the new Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Centre for Health and Medical Education.

Mrs Zdatny, a trained lawyer, singled out the university’s School of Law for particular mention, praising the mock courtroom designed to give students a taste of what it’s like to practice law in a real court setting.

She also highlighted the value of the Anatomage Table used by the Medical School, a digital life-sized three-dimensional body that can be examined by students.

She said: "That was incredible and fascinating how technology is getting incorporated into education and the possibilities that opens up.

“People come out much better prepared and educated.”