King’s Birthday Honours: knighthood for UUK president Steve West

Sector leaders and academics from across the UK are recognised in the first King’s Birthday Honours list

June 16, 2023
Steve West, vice-chancellor of the University of the West of ­England as mentioned in the article
Source: UWE

The president of Universities UK (UUK), the vice-chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast and the executive chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council are among sector leaders awarded knighthoods and damehoods in King Charles’ first Birthday Honours list.

Steve West, current president of UUK and vice-chancellor of University of the West of England, Bristol since 2007, is knighted – as is Ian Greer, vice-chancellor at Queen’s.

There are also knighthoods for Peter Barnes, professor of thoracic medicine at Imperial College London; Iain Gray, director of aerospace at Cranfield University; Stephen Jackson, Frederick James Quick professor of biology at the University of Cambridge; and Nairn Wilson, honorary professor of dentistry at King’s College London.

Melanie Welham, executive chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council is made a dame for services to bioscience.

Damehoods are also bestowed on Averil Bradley, the first British woman appointed a professor of surgery, Diane Coyle, the Bennett professor of public policy at Cambridge, and Eleanor Milner-Gulland, the Tasso Leventis chair in biodiversity at the University of Oxford.

Alongside Professor West and Professor Greer, other awards to vice-chancellors include OBEs for Helen Marshall at the University of Salford and Rama Thirunamachandran at Canterbury Christ Church University, and an MBE for Helen Langton at the University of Suffolk.

CBEs are given to Medwin Hughes, vice-chancellor of the University of Wales and University of Wales Trinity St David; Debra Humphris, vice-chancellor of the University of Brighton; and Anne Ferguson-Smith, pro vice-chancellor for research and international partnerships at Cambridge.

Dozens of other professors are recognised in the honours list.

David Abulafia, emeritus professor of Mediterranean history at Cambridge receives a CBE, while Joanne Norton, professor of early intervention and psychosis at the University of Worcester, is awarded an OBE for her services to higher education and to student suicide prevention and response.

Sir John Bell, Regius professor of medicine at Oxford is made a companion of honour – of which there are only 65 at any one time – alongside novelist Ian McEwan and Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

Those awarded CBEs include Thomas Evans, professor of molecular microbiology at the University of Glasgow; Eleanor Riley, professor of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh; and Caroline Series, emeritus professor of mathematics at the University of Warwick.

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Reader's comments (1)

I'm not for a minute suggesting that these people don't deserve to be honoured, but the British honours system is as bent as a 27-bob note. Pats on the back from a monarch desperate to remain relevant that can be bought for a sufficiently high donation to the party in government sow the seeds for corruption and cronyism. Dangling a damehood or an MBE in front of someone sounds like a great way to silence dissent, too. It desperately needs to be reformed, and let's abolish the monarchy while we're at it.