Vice-Chancellor recognised in the 2022 New Year Honours List

31 December 2021

Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Derby, has been awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her services to education in the 2022 New Year Honours List, the highest-ranking Order of the British Empire Award (excluding a knighthood/damehood).

The list of Honours, published on New Year’s Eve by the Government’s Cabinet Office, marks the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom.

The impact Professor Mitchell has made during her 30-year career in education is significant.

Prior to joining Derby, she held the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of West London, was a Wellcome Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, for over seven years, and worked for the University of Chicago, the Rockefeller Institute in New York and the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel.

As Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby since 2015, she has demonstrated transformational leadership which has impacted positively not only on the quality of education delivered at the University, but also across the city and county.

Through her role as Chair of the Derby Opportunity Area Board, which she has held for the past five years, her regional impact has been particularly felt. In 2015, Derby was towards the bottom nationally in school attainment but since she has been at the helm this has improved by 25 places, and 70% of children have achieved good development, closing the gap by 4% to the national level of 72%.

Headshot of Professor Kathryn Mitchell

Originally from St Helens, and with her family based in Crowthorne, Berkshire, Professor Mitchell has immersed herself in her adopted city, gaining recognition from business leaders, educators and industry for her energy, innovation and dedication in supporting the city and developing the University to offer the best educational opportunities and experience for students and the wider community.

She gives her time freely to support a range of business and cultural events, including as Chair of the Midlands Enterprise Universities Board and as a proactive member of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Board.

Speaking about her CBE, Professor Kathryn Mitchell said: “I am honoured to have been named in the New Year Honours List. Raising the educational aspirations of people regardless of their age or background and assuring that a high-quality education is accessible to all is something I am extremely passionate about.

“Being a Vice-Chancellor and having the opportunity to influence and make an impact within your local communities and further afield is a privilege, and I am grateful for the commitment of colleagues and partners who have supported and worked with me to achieve this.”

Lord Burlington, Chancellor of the University of Derby, added: “On behalf of the University we are delighted that Kathryn has been recognised with a CBE and I would like to offer my congratulations on this outstanding achievement.

“Kathryn’s commitment and dedication to the University, as well as to the city and wider region, is impressive and unwavering, as is her drive to deliver benefits far beyond the student body.

“She is a truly inspirational leader and a passionate advocate for the transformational benefits of education and ensuring equity of opportunity for all.”

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