Professor Wilson is appointed Knight Bachelor for services to higher education and to business after leading the university for seven years.
He has been a pioneer of the “business-facing” university model, designing new courses focused on delivering skills for the workplace alongside academic content.
Expressing his delight with the “unexpected” honour, he said: “It’s deeply satisfying that it links higher education and business. The entire university has bought into that mission, and we have worked with some incredible business people…Ten years ago, universities were on the fringe of education and policy; now they are where they should be – at the heart of economic and social policy.”
His successor at Hertfordshire, Quintin McKellar, also features in the honours list, being appointed CBE for services to science as principal of the Royal Veterinary College.
Adrian Smith, director general for knowledge and innovation at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, is another higher education luminary to be knighted.
Regarded as a strong advocate for science and research, Professor Smith was appointed to an expanded role within BIS in November with a remit including higher education.
Scientists had feared that the new role, formed by the amalgamation of three existing positions, could see responsibility for the research budget pass into the hands of a career civil servant, rather than a scientist.
Graham Henderson, vice-chancellor of the University of Teesside, has been appointed CBE for services to local and national higher education.
Professor Henderson said he felt “honoured and privileged”, adding: “I thought that leading Teesside to the award of Times Higher Education University of the Year [in 2009] was the pinnacle of my professional career, but receiving this honour is just truly amazing…it is very flattering and pleasing to know that my personal contribution has been recognised and appreciated by others.”
Among those to be appointed OBE are Dorothy Faith Butt, director of lifelong learning at the University of Bath, and Fiona Steele, professor of social statistics at the University of Bristol. Beverley Kenny, head of catering and event management at the University of Leeds, has been appointed MBE for services to higher education, while Jane Lyddon, head of international relations at the British Academy, has also been appointed MBE for services in support of scholarship.
The following figures from higher education have been recognised in this year’s list:
David Edgeworth Butler. Fellow, Nuffield College, Oxford. For services to political science.
Rory Edwards Collins. Co-director, Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, University of Oxford. For services to science.
Michael John Gregory. Head, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge. For services to technology.
Robin MacGregor Murray. Professor of psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. For services to medicine.
Adrian Frederick Melhuish Smith. Director general, knowledge and innovation, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Robert James Timothy Wilson. Formerly vice-chancellor, University of Hertfordshire. For services to higher education and to business.
Brian Stanley Collins. Chief scientific adviser, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Caroline Humphrey. Professor of collaborative anthropology, University of Cambridge. For services to scholarship.
Helen Sarah Wallace. Centennial professor, European Institute, London School of Economics. For services to social science.
John Benington. emeritus professor of public policy and management, Warwick Business School. For public service.
Christopher Paul Hadley Brown. Director, Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. For services to museums.
John Fisher. Professor of mechanical engineering and deputy vice-chancellor, University of Leeds. For services to biomedical engineering.
Michael Gordon Fulford. Professor of archaeology, University of Reading. For services to scholarship.
Hugh Charles Jonathan Godfray. Hope professor of entomology, University of Oxford. For services to science.
Dennis Gunning. Formerly director, skills, higher education and
lifelong learning group, Welsh Assembly government.
Graham Henderson. Vice-chancellor, University of Teesside. For services to local and national higher education.
Stephen Holgate. Professor of immunopharmacology, University of Southampton. For services to clinical science.
Julian Meurglyn Hopkin. Rector for medicine and health, University of Wales, Swansea. For services to medicine.
Ronald Alfred Laskey. Formerly professor of embryology, University of Cambridge, and lately director, Medical Research Council Cancer Cell Unit. For services to science.
Quintin McKellar. Principal, Royal Veterinary College. For services to science.
Ann Tate. Formerly vice-chancellor, University of Northampton. For services to higher education.
Nicholas Tyler. Head of department and Chadwick professor of civil engineering, University College London. For services to technology.
John Williamson Wallace. Principal, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. For services to dance, music and drama education in Scotland.
Barry John Kemp. Senior research Fellow, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge. For services to archaeology, education and international relations.
Stephen Blackmore. Regius Keeper, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. For services to plant conservation.
Sheila Macdonald Bird. Senior scientist, Medical Research Council, Institute of Public Health, Cambridge. For services to social science.
Dorothy Faith Butt. Director of lifelong learning, University of Bath. For services to local and national higher education.
Muffy Calder. Professor of formal methods, University of Glasgow. For services to computer science.
Susan Jean Cox. Dean, Lancaster University Management School. For services to social science.
Wendy Dagworthy. Professor and head, department of fashion, and head, School of Fashion and Textiles, Royal College of Art. For services to the fashion industry.
William Finlayson. Director of the Council for British Research in the Levant. For services to international relations.
Christopher Franklin. Chairman, Committee of Postgraduate Dental Deans and Directors and professor and honorary consultant oral pathologist. For services to healthcare.
Paul Gilbert. Professor clinical psychologist, Derbyshire Mental Health Services NHS Trust. For services to healthcare.
Evelyn Margaret Gill. Formerly chief scientific adviser, rural and environment, Scottish government.
Andrew Julian Goldberg. Consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, senior lecturer, University College London, and founder, Medical Futures Innovation Awards. For services to medicine.
Helen Elisabeth Higson. Senior pro vice-chancellor and professor of higher education learning and management, Aston University. For services to higher education.
Michael Christopher Jackson. Professor of management systems and dean, Business School, University of Hull. For services to higher education and to business.
Christopher Robin Lowe. Professor of biotechnology, University of Cambridge. For services to science.
David Clive Anthony Mant. Emeritus professor of general practice, University of Oxford. For services to medicine.
Sally Christine Neocosmos. Formerly interim registrar, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. For services to higher education.
Myra Pearson. Head, school of education, University of Aberdeen. For services to higher education.
Jennifer Ann Saint. Formerly dean of school, Nottingham Trent University. For services to further and higher education.
James Hood Ross. Formerly chairman, Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. For voluntary service to higher education.
Patricia Avis Shenton. Emeritus professor and director of academies and trust school development, Liverpool John Moores University. For services to education and training.
Fiona Steele. Professor of social statistics, University of Bristol. For services to social science.
Andrew Robert Colin Stephens. Head of international engagement and board secretary, British Library. For services to scholarship.
Kevin Thompson. Director of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. For services to the arts and to UK/Hong Kong cultural exchanges.
Geoffrey Railton Tomlinson. Professor of engineering dynamics, University of Sheffield. For services to technology.
Alan France. First deputy rector, Westminster International University, Tashkent. For services to UK/Uzbekistan educational and cultural relations.
Andrew Hussey. Dean, University of London Institute, Paris. For services to UK/France cultural relations.
Nicholas James Younger Woodhouse. Professor, department of medicine, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. For services to British medicine in the Middle East.
Andrew Georgios Andreou. Executive assistant, Universities and Skills Group, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Andrew Entwistle. Member, Universities/Users Teaching and Research Action Partnership. For services to higher education.
David Neville Gentry. Formerly safety manager, Faculty of Science, Imperial College London. For services to science.
Joyce Goodman. Professor and dean of education, University of Winchester. For services to higher education.
Lindsay Neil Green. Administrative director, Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre. For services to science.
Linda Dorothy Jones. Faculty senior projects manager and operational manager, physics department, Imperial College London. For services to higher education.
Tudor Bowden Jones. For services to science.
Beverley Kenny. Head of catering and event management, University of Leeds. For services to higher education.
Jane Lyddon. Head of international relations, British Academy. For services in support of scholarship.
Judith Elaine Marsden. Formerly senior residential officer coordinator, Leeds Metropolitan University. For services to higher education.
Ann McKay. International student adviser, University of Edinburgh. For services to higher education.
Susheila Nasta. Founder and editor, Wasafiri. For services to black and Asian literature.
Jane Pugh. Governance officer, London School of Economics. For services to higher education.
Jacques Rangasamy. Senior lecturer, University of Salford. For services to multicultural arts education.
Ronald Andrew Smith. Professor of exercise and sport, York St John University. For services to higher education and to community sport.