29 November 2013 - This story is in archive

The University of Hertfordshire has awarded Professor Sir Tim Wilson, an honorary Doctor of Education for his pioneering work in higher education, university/business collaboration and for his outstanding contribution to the development of the University.

Business-facing university

Sir Tim Wilson, the University of Hertfordshire's former Vice-Chancellor, was one of the first to champion the concept of a business-facing university - the idea of universities collaborating with business and industry across their research, enterprise and teaching activities.  The terminology is now firmly fixed into the education landscape and is widely accepted as a way of growing economic and social prosperity. 

Following the Government's 2011 White Paper, Putting Students at the Heart of Higher Education, Sir Tim was asked to undertake a fundamental review of how to make the UK the best place in the world for university/industry collaboration. His review was published in February last year and many of his recommendations have already been implemented by Government, business and universities.

Deeply honoured

Commenting on receiving his award, Sir Tim Wilson said: "I am deeply honoured by this Award. I feel very privileged to have worked alongside so many talented people who were committed to our University; building on its history, not seeking to emulate other universities, but making  it the premier university of its kind in the UK."

In reading the citation, Professor Quintin McKellar, Vice-Chancellor, University of Hertfordshire, said:  "It was Sir Tim's vision for our future together with his inspired leadership of an ambitious agenda that transformed our institution into the UK's first and foremost business-facing university.  His tireless campaigning has rightly earned him an international reputation as one of the most progressive thinkers in this field.  I am delighted to present the award of honorary Doctor of Education to Professor Sir Tim Wilson."

After joining Hatfield Polytechnic in 1991 as Deputy Director, Sir Tim went on to serve as the University's Vice-Chancellor between 2003 and 2010.

Celebrating success

At the ceremony on Wednesday 20 November – held in the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St. Albans – Sir Tim Wilson received his Doctor of Education alongside over 4,400 new graduates celebrating academic success. 

The University has also shown its appreciation to nineteen other pillars of the community by awarding Honorary Degrees and Fellowships for outstanding contribution to academic disciplines, charity, professions or public service – presented by Lord Salisbury, Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire; Professor Quintin McKellar, Vice-Chancellor; Professor Ian Campbell, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Richard Beazley, Pro Chancellor.