Princess Anne has opened Bishop Grosseteste University's new £2.7 million library during her visit to Lincoln today.
Her Royal Highness unveiled a plaque at the Cornerstone Building, in the university's Newport campus, this morning.
The building was refurbished and extended at the end of last year and now houses the university's library and its student support and advice teams.
After meeting with staff, students and dignitaries, the princess was then given a tour of the campus, including BG Futures, the university's business incubation centre.
And just before unveiling the plaque, she paid thanks to Bishop Grosseteste for investing in new facilities for its students.
She said: "Libraries are absolutely fundamentally important to continue education.
"Once you've got that as a habit and you've got that as a venue, you can do anything you want with it. The information is there and you can access it.
"This is a huge step forward, so thank you for your investment, and I do hope lots and lots of people will use it."
The royal visit rounded off a momentous year for Bishop Grosseteste, which included its 150th birthday celebrations and being granted university status.
Professor Muriel Robinson, the university's vice chancellor, said: "It's been brilliant but very scary having to walk Princess Anne around the campus and introduce her to everyone.
"She showed a lot of interest, particularly in our students and business tenants in BG Futures.
"She talked a lot about her views on education – being that universities are for gaining key life skills as well as going to lectures.
"It's the first time we've had a royal visit in a long time and it couldn't have gone better. It's the perfect way to cap the last 12 months."
The princess also met with three student ambassadors, Simon Baker, 20, Chris Robertson, 21, and Lyndsey Metson, 23, about the work they undertake to encourage students to consider a university path.
"It was a brilliant experience meeting Princess Anne and a once in a life time opportunity", said Mr Baker.
"She talked a lot about the university and what we did with our student ambassador work."Mr Robertson said: "She was really interest and gave us her opinions on the role of education in society.
"She said education is about learning life skills and she thinks it's being taken over by too much academia."
And Miss Metson added: "But we reassured her that we have a good balance here at Bishop Grosseteste."
Tom Law, 29, is the creative director of Creative Hope Studio and has been based in the business incubation hub for ten months.
Princess Anne also met with Mr Law and toured his offices to show how businesses are being set up and helped to grow by BG Futures.
He explained: "I lined up with some of the other tenants in BG Futures and was introduced to her and one of the most successful businesses.
"I invited her to come in the office and meet the staff and show her some of the work we do.
"She was really easy to talk to and took a big interest in what we were doing and what we had to say."
Princess Anne also visited Lincoln College to open its new sports and leisure facility and this afternoon will take a tour of Lindum Business Park.
Her Royal Highness was greeted with crowds and waving flags when she arrived at the college, in Monk's Road, to open the new £8 million state-of-the-art Deans: Sports and Leisure building.
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