Graeme Davies's service as chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England has won him the expected award of a knighthood in the New Year's honours list.
Sir Richard Doll, knighted in 1971, has been made a Companion of Honour for services to epidemiology. He pioneered work on the causes of cancer, the effects of oral contraception and the asthma epidemics in the 1960s.
Other knights include Robert May, chief science adviser, and Harold Kroto, the Sussex University chemist tipped as a future Nobel prize winner. OBEs include Colin Flint, principal of Solihull College and former THES columnist.
While cited for his work at HEFCE, Professor Davies is now vice chancellor of Glasgow University, where three other members of staff were also honoured - a CBE for child health professor Forrester Cockburn and OBEs for librarian Henry Heaney and oral biology professor Dorothy Geddes. Scottish institutions were well represented with two awards to Edinburgh medics - medical academics as a group are strongly represented - and others to staff at Glasgow Caledonian, Dundee, St Andrews and Strathclyde universities.
Awards to higher education and allied trades continue to be at the top end of the scale - accounting for ten out of 29 knighthoods.