Professor Sir Steve Smith

Exeter Vice-Chancellor honoured with knighthood

The University of Exeter’s Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Steve Smith has been knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to higher education locally and nationally. 

His new title will be Professor Sir Steve Smith.

The Vice-Chancellor has led a transformation of the University, since he arrived in 2002. Under his leadership the University has seen major improvements in research and teaching, facilities, the employability of Exeter students and the University’s overall standing in the world. The University of Exeter is now ranked within the top 1% of universities globally and listed as one of the fastest growing organisations in Europe. In his role as President of Universities UK (UUK) since August 2009 Professor Smith has led the sector through the politics and major changes in the funding of higher education. 

Professor Sir Steve Smith has written or edited 15 books, over 100 academic papers and has given over 170 academic presentations in 22 countries. In 2001 he became only the second UK academic to be elected President of the International Studies Association in the USA. In 2000 he was elected Academician of the Academy of the Learned Societies in the Social Sciences and in 1999 was the recipient of the Susan Strange Award of the International Studies Association for the person who has most challenged the received wisdom in the profession.

From June 2007 until May 2010, he led for higher education on the Prime Minister’s National Council of Excellence in Education, which provided advice to Government about strategy and measures to achieve world-class education performance for all children and young people.

He is Chair of the UUK UK Board and the UUK Executive Committee. He is also a Member of the Government’s Research Base Funders Forum, and was a Member of the Advisory Forum of Independent Review of Higher Education, which advised Lord Browne’s independent review of higher education funding. In addition, Sir Steve is also a Board member of the 1994 Group of Universities; Member of the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) Advisory Group; Member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) Financial Sustainability Strategy Group; Member of the Times Higher Education (THE) Editorial Board, and Member of the General Advisory Council for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT).

In the South West, Sir Steve’s appointments include membership of the South West of England Regional Development Agency Board.

Member of Council Judy Hargadon received an an OBE for services to children's well being. A number of Exeter alumni were also honoured in this year’s list. Receiving a Knighthood is Michael Pownall (History, 1971). Sir Michael, who was Clerk of Parliament for the House of Lords until his recent retirement, was awarded the KCB (Knights Commander of the Order of the Bath). Sir Michael has been a generous supporter of the University, including hosting alumni and guests at a reception at the House of Lords last November.


Date: 11 June 2011

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