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Vice-Chancellor given honorary degree

Greenaway 1

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham has been honoured by one of Canada’s oldest universities.

Professor Sir David Greenaway attended Spring Convocation at University of Western Ontario, where he was conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Laws.

Sir David joins the ranks of innovators, politicians, an iconic Canadian author, industry titans and a former member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada all receiving honorary degrees as part of the university’s 309th Convocation.

It was given in recognition of his contribution to both economics and education over the last four decades.

From humble beginnings in Glasgow, through his economics degree and first lecturing post at Leicester Polytechnic, to his arrival at the University of Nottingham in 1987, Sir David has been actively involved with teaching, research and scholarship for most of his adult life. He has led the University of Nottingham as Vice-Chancellor since 2008, is a renowned economist, researcher, teacher and academic leader with an international reputation.

The honour comes as Sir David is due to retire from his post in September.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to have received this recognition from the University of Western Ontario, one of Canada's oldest and most distinguished Universities. It is a signal honour, and as well as being thrilled at a personal level, I also regard it as important recognition for our University.”

In conferring the honour Professor Audra Bowlas spoke about Sir David’s extraordinary career and his connections to Canada. She said: “Sir David is an internationally renowned economist. His work has been cited more than 20,000 times and he has published in numerous world-class journals. His connections to Western include a 15-year collaboration with Professor Emeritus John Whalley as co-editors of the journal The World Economy.”

She spoke of his public service achievements including Chairman and member of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body, the UK Senior Salaries Review Body, and as consultant to the World Bank, the European Commission, the United Nations, the Department for Transport and the UK Treasury. She also lauded his commitment to fundraising through ambitious bicycle challenges.

In addressing the graduates from the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the Faculty of Social Science, Sir David encouraged them to reflect on the enduring nature of universities, where scholars engage the public and continually work to transform the world. He said: “Graduates are entering a world of rapid change and challenges that come with that will define their lives and generations.

“Maintain high standards. Be bold and ambitious. Be resilient, and be prepared to take risks,” he said.

“If you take risks, sometimes you will fail and failure is not always a comfortable thing to deal with. But it is an essential thing to deal with because you can’t make progress without it. Be determined, apply yourself relentlessly. Work hard. Always retain a degree of humility and be prepared to listen. Always set out to give more than you take."

Sir David was appointed to the University of Nottingham as a Professor of Economics and was subsequently a Dean, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, and founding Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Research on Globalisation and Economic Policy. He was a Member of the Government’s Asia Task Force and Higher Education Task Force and is Chair of the CASE Europe Board of Trustees, Chair of the Russell Group of Universities, and a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire.

As the Vice-Chancellor, he leads an institution with more than 46,000 students worldwide, 8,000 staff and a turnover in excess of £600 million. The University is a trailblazer in global higher education, as the first foreign university in the world to establish a Sino-Foreign campus in China (2004) and the first British institution to open a fully operational overseas campus, The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, in 2000. He was knighted in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to Higher Education.

Western University was founded in 1878 by Bishop Isaac Hellmuth. It is a leader in wind engineering and business education.

Notable alumni include Sir Frederick Banting who discovered insulin and Ivan Smith who developed the world’s first ‘cobalt bomb’ to treat cancer. More recently Dr Chil-Yong Kang received approval to start human clinical trials of a HIV vaccine. 


More information is available from Josephine Dionisappu, PR & Communcations Manager at UNMC on +6 (03) 89248746,  or Elizabeth Cass, Head of Media Relations at University of Nottingham, UK.

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2015. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16. More than 97 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is recognised internationally and it is 8th in the UK by research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities. 

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. 

Posted on 15th June 2017

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