The Earl of Wessex visited the University of Chester on Wednesday to mark the institution’s 175th anniversary celebrations.
Prince Edward visited the Riverside Building where he learnt about the university’s history and how it was founded 175 years ago by a group of progressive Victorian philanthropists. Their vision was to make the university an internationally acclaimed institution, something which it has lived up to.
The Riverside building is the home of the education and children’s services as well as health and social care. These areas are directly related to the university’s mission, which is to prepare students for public service in their later life.
In addition, the site where Prince Edward toured trains nurses, midwives and teachers in partnership with local hospitals. Graduates not only stay in Chester once they have left university to perform their services, they also work all over the world.
Speaking about the royal visit, the University of Chester’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Tim Wheeler, said: “As both a university chancellor and a Cambridge history graduate, His Royal Highness has an insider’s appreciation of higher education. We are looking forward immensely to sharing our journey so far with him.”
“The university was the country’s first institution with the facilities to provide professional training for teachers and among the first to offer structured higher education. So in commemorating the milestone of our 175th anniversary, we are also marking the blueprint for the UK’s teacher education as we know it today.”
“Although we are very much a university for the 21st century, we are incredibly proud of our heritage and we are privileged that His Royal Highness has chosen to join us in this very special academic year to celebrate our traditions alongside our innovations.”
As part of the Earl of Wessex’s tour of the Riverside building, he visited a variety of different areas and met people from all walks of life.
The Queen’s youngest son looked at skills laboratories for adult and midwifery care, art therapy students at work, and clinical artefacts from the Faculty of Health and Social Care Museum, which includes a letter written by Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War.
To finish off the day, the Earl officially opened the new £15 million Ellesmere Port Sports Village where he met boxer Paul Butler and players from the Cheshire Phoenix basketball team. He also saw local primary school children using the new facilities in the sports village.
Photo credit: Northern Ireland Office via Flickr