Sir Colin Campbell to become Honorary Freeman of the City

28 Jan 2010 17:59:54.673


Professor Sir Colin Campbell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, is to be made an Honorary Freeman of the City of Nottingham at a special ceremony on September 26, 2008.

He will become Nottingham's 36th Honorary Freeman since William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, became the first person to be honoured in this way in 1905.

Sir Colin was born in December 1944 and graduated from the University of Aberdeen with First Class Honours in Law in 1967.

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He was knighted in 1994 and was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire in 1996. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws by Aberdeen University in 2001.

He was appointed Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham in 1988 and is the longest-serving Vice-Chancellor in UK higher education. Between 2002 and 2004, the University of Nottingham was the most popular in the country and has stabilised at around 38-40,000 applications per year, making Nottingham consistently a top-five choice for students.

Sir Colin has been instrumental in forging links between Nottingham and China. The University was the first foreign higher education institution in the world to establish a university inside The People's Republic of China. The £30m research and teaching campus in the city of Ningbo, home to a thriving community of international staff and students from more than two dozen countries, was completed in 2005 and is a full and integral part of The University of Nottingham.

He was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Ningbo Municipality by the Standing Committee of the Ningbo Municipal People's Congress in September 2004 in recognition of his contribution to the construction and development of Ningbo Municipality.

Sir Colin has also pioneered links between Nottingham and Malaysia, raising the city's profile in south-east Asia with the opening of the purpose-built University of Nottingham Malaysia campus, near Kuala Lumpur, in 2005. The 101-acre campus is home to students from more than 50 countries and, like its counterpart in China, is a full and integral part of the University of Nottingham.

Sir Colin has held a number of significant public and private sector roles including as Her Majesty's First Commissioner for Judicial Appointments from 2001-2006 and Chairman of the Food Advisory Committee from 1994-2001. He chaired the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority from its creation in 1990 until 1994.

He has also played a significant part in supporting a number of key Nottingham regeneration initiatives including the creation of the Jubilee campus, the redevelopment of the City's Lacemarket area, Britain in Bloom, Nottingham - the Science City, and the continuing development of Nottingham's tram system.

Under Sir Colin's leadership, the University has worked consistently to foster links with the wider Nottingham community, with a multitude of outreach and education programmes. One of the most significant of these is the Nottingham University Samworth Academy, a new city academy due to open in Bilborough next year with co-sponsorship from the University.

City Council Leader, Jon Collins said: "In the twenty years since his appointment as Vice-Chancellor at the University of Nottingham, Sir Colin has played a hugely significant part in the life of our City. I'm delighted he has accepted the offer to become the 36th Honorary Freeman of the City of Nottingham.

"It's entirely appropriate that we will be recognising Sir Colin's achievements in this way.  As well as establishing the University of Nottingham as one of the leading institutions in the country, he has also played a key role in developing Nottingham as a cosmopolitan and tolerant city.

"Sir Colin has been a huge advocate for Nottingham both nationally and internationally, notably through the innovative links between Nottingham and China. His vision, drive and determination have played a vital part in the recent transformation of our city as can be seen in places like the Jubilee Campus and the Lacemarket.

"I'm really looking forward to proposing Sir Colin at the special ceremony in September when, as a City, we'll be able to pay tribute to him and his contribution to Nottingham."

Sir Colin Campbell said: "I am delighted to receive this great honour from the City of Nottingham.

"This is as much an accolade for the talented staff, students and graduates of the University of Nottingham as it is for me - all have played their part in establishing the University within the global higher education elite over the past 20 years.  I am also delighted that this is happening in the year of the University's 60th anniversary.

"The University has always endeavoured to work closely with city, and has benefited immensely from close proximity to such a dynamic, cosmopolitan and vibrant regional centre. It is my hope that initiatives such as the Nottingham University Samworth Academy, due to open next year, will deepen the university's ties with the city and demonstrate our belief in the transformative power of education - whether six thousand miles away in Ningbo, or two miles away in Nottingham North.

"I firmly believe that the relationship between the University and the city will only grow stronger in the years to come."

- Ends -

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 70 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.

It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation - School of Pharmacy).

Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for four years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.

Story credits

Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

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