• Professor Mary Stuart at her desk
25 Apr | Lincoln News | Women in Leadership

‘The Guardian Inspiring Leader 2018’ awarded to Lincoln’s Vice Chancellor

University of Lincoln Vice Chancellor, Professor Mary Stuart, was announced as The Guardian Inspiring Leader 2018, at an awards ceremony in London, yesterday

This high profile award recognises inspirational leadership within the UK higher education sector and celebrates institutions and leaders who have had a far-reaching impact on higher education, who have encouraged innovation and demonstrated visionary thinking. The winner is decided by a public vote.

This award celebrates Mary’s emphasis on staff and students working together to make the University ‘one community’. During her time here, the University has transformed. There are seven new academic Schools of study all underpinned by strong employer endorsement, student engagement and community involvement. Most recently Mary led a successful bid to establish a new medical school in the region in partnership with the University of Nottingham.

In her speech last night, Mary said:

"This is an award which recognises all the staff and students at Lincoln. Our University goes from strength to strength because it is home to extraordinary people who are truly passionate about higher education and research and who fundamentally believe that an exceptional student experience should be at the heart of any university. It is also a recognition of our city which provides a welcoming and supportive home to our student population. I am delighted to see Lincoln recognised in this way"

Mary grew up in apartheid-era South Africa and emigrated to the UK for political reasons. Like many migrants she initially had some challenges. Having become pregnant with twins, Mary and her partner were evicted from their rented flat, meaning her twins started life in a hostel for homeless families. Determined to make some sort of success of their lives Mary studied for a degree with the Open University and after a career as a social scientist she went on to become Vice Chancellor at the University of Lincoln.

Haydn Biddle, University of Lincoln Chair of Governors, said:

"I am delighted that Mary has been recognised in this way. This is a reward for clear strategic thinking, building a great team and having students at the heart of everything that we do"