New Year Honours 2023: damehood for former OfS chief executive

Academics Peter Mathieson and Vernon Bogdanor among those knighted for services to their disciplines or the sector

December 30, 2022
Nicola Dandridge
Nicola Dandridge

The inaugural chief executive of England’s higher education regulator has received a damehood in the New Year’s Honours List, with several other sector leaders also recognised.

Nicola Dandridge, formerly head of the Office for Students, has been upgraded from a CBE to a dame for services to higher education. Previously chief executive of Universities UK, Dame Nicola led the regulator until April 2022 and has since joined the University of Bristol as professor of higher education policy.

Another regulator, Ian Bauckham, chair of the English qualifications watchdog Ofqual, was made a knight for services to education and Paula Sussex, head of the Student Loans Company, was appointed CBE for her services to higher education.

Meanwhile, Helen Fairfoul, former head of the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (Ucea) and a non-executive board member for Northumbria University, was appointed OBE for her services to higher education.

She led the organisation – which negotiates pay on behalf of university employers – for seven years until her retirement in 2020. Ucea’s current chair, George Boyne, said her “commitment and guidance was instrumental in moving HE employers forward through challenging times”.

Principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, Peter Mathieson, was appointed a knight. He previously led the University of Hong Kong during the city’s recent pro-democracy unrest.

Colin Riordan, president and vice-chancellor of Cardiff University, was awarded a CBE alongside Chris Day, vice-chancellor and president of Newcastle University, who was honoured for his services to health research and treatment.

Professor Day said the CBE was “a tribute to the wonderful colleagues I have worked with” both at the university and at Newcastle’s hospitals, and he thanked the willing patients who took part in the research. “These colleagues have ensured that liver and gastroenterology research at Newcastle continues to go from strength to strength,” he added.

Two leading academics were upgraded to a Knight Grand Cross for services to their disciplines. These were Sir Partha Dasgupta, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Cambridge, who was recognised for services to his field and to the natural environment, and biographer Dame Hermione Lee, emeritus professor at the University of Oxford and past president of Wolfson College, who was honoured for her services to English literature.

Vernon Bogdanor, professor of government at King’s College London, was appointed a knight for his services to political science. A researcher at the Institute for Contemporary British History and a regular newspaper commentator, Sir Vernon has counted former prime minister David Cameron among his students.

Fiona Murray, associate dean of innovation and inclusion and professor of entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received a damehood for services to science, technology and diversity. Although US-based, she sits on the UK prime minister’s council for science and technology.

James Appleby, professor of psychiatry at the University of Manchester and chair of a national suicide prevention group, was appointed a knight for services to medicine and mental health, while Rachel Jenkins, professor emeritus of epidemiology and mental health policy at King’s College London, was appointed OBE for services to international mental health policy and research.

Among the many other scholars recognised was Sir Michael Marmot, director of the Institute of Health Equity at University College London, who joined the Order of the Companions of Honour for his services to public health. The influential author has been a populariser for his field, writing for the Financial Times and The Guardian.

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