Much-deserved fillip for veterans and pioneers

June 1, 2007

Lisa Jardine has lost count of the number of times people asked her if winning The Times Higher Lifetime Achievement Award meant she was about to retire.

"There were a number of occasions after I received the award when people suggested that I consider stopping," said Professor Jardine, director of the Arts and Humanities Research Board Research Centre for Editing Lives and Letters at Queen Mary, University of London.

"In fact, it was an incentive. It made me feel I was only half done," she said.

As if further proof were needed, in the seven months since she received the award Professor Jardine has become adviser to the Royal Society's Collections, helping to bring its archives to greater public attention. She has also accepted a distinguished studies fellowship awarded by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek and Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study.

And if this was not enough, Professor Jardine this week delivers a new book to HarperCollins on 17th-century Anglo-Dutch relations entitled Going Dutch: How Britain Plundered Holland's Glory .

"I am sure the award was motivational. The timing was brilliant. I was just back on form after breast cancer in 2004, and the award was a real spur to me."

The University of the Year award is likely to be hotly contested again this year, not least because of the kudos and marketing opportunities that the accolade brings.

Sir Colin Campbell, vice-chancellor of Nottingham University, which won last year's award for its bold campus initiatives in China and Malaysia, said: "It has been of significant benefit in terms of publicising the world-class teaching, research and student experience on offer at the university."

Natalie Mudd, managing director of Hobsons, which is sponsoring the University of the Year award, said: "In light of the increasingly diverse domestic and international challenges faced by higher education institutions, this award reflects and rewards innovation, determination and a great deal of hard work."

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