Aston Professor receives her OBE

Professor Helen Higson
Professor Helen Higson recieves OBE

25 March 2011

Professor Helen Higson has been presented with an OBE by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales.

Prof Higson, who is Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor for External Relations at Aston University, received her OBE at Buckingham Palace on Thursday (March 24th).

She was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for services to higher education.

Aston alumni, Dr Michael Oglesby and Nelson Ogunshakin, were also awarded a CBE and OBE respectively for their services to the United Kingdom.

Helen has worked at Aston University for more than 25 years in a variety of roles. She graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge with an MA in English Literature and has a PhD from Birkbeck College, London.   She was awarded a Personal Chair in Higher Education Leadership & Management in 2008.

She joined Aston in 1985 as a secretary in the Pro-Vice-Chancellors’ and Planning Office. In 1988, she moved on to Aston Business School (ABS), where she spent the next twenty years in a variety of roles. She progressed from an Administrative Assistant in the Undergraduate Programme to Programme Manager, then to Associate Director for Undergraduate Studies. In 2002, Helen became Director of Quality in ABS, and in 2004, Associate Dean (Undergraduate Programme) and Deputy Head of Academic Programmes. In 2008, Helen was appointed Head of Learning & Teaching in the School, combining this role with her new remit as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International Relations. In January 2010, Helen left ABS to take up a full-time role as PVC for External Relations, though she continues to teach and research within the School.

Professor Higson has a particular research interest in higher education, with a focus on the management of higher education, academic load models, quality procedures, reflective learning, the links between theory and practice, and pedagogy and research. She is currently leading projects looking at intercultural awareness and employability competencies. Helen is Director of the Research Centre in Higher Education Learning & Management within Aston Business School. She has published extensively and has an excellent record in securing research funding.

Speaking of her honour, Professor Higson said: ‘I was overwhelmed when I received the letter recommending me for an OBE - I never imagined I would get one. I would like to thank my colleagues at Aston University for making this award possible.  I have worked at Aston for 25 years and it is a great place to work and study at.’

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