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17 March 2008 PR 08/34

Loughborough University’s Vice Chancellor named ‘Woman of the Year’ at prestigious awards

Loughborough University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Shirley Pearce, CBE, has been named ‘Woman of the Year’ at the prestigious Women of Achievement Awards 2008.

Organised by Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce, in association with International Women’s Day, the annual awards are designed to celebrate the achievements of women in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Professor Pearce joined Loughborough University as Vice Chancellor in 2006. On taking up the post she set about instilling a sense of team leadership that would enable the University to build on its success. In 2007, under her guidance, the institution continued to flourish.

Highlights include the selection of Loughborough to host the £1 billion Energy Technologies Institute, in partnership with the universities of Birmingham and Nottingham, the East Midlands Development Agency (emda) and Advantage West Midlands; winning the Times Higher Award for ‘Best Student Experience’ for the second year running and the ‘Outstanding Support for Overseas Students’ award; and securing top 15 rankings in national university league tables.

Before joining Loughborough Professor Pearce was a Professor of Health Psychology at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Dean of the Institute of Health. In June 2005 she was made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for services to the NHS.

Speaking about the ‘Woman of the Year’ award, Professor Pearce said: “Such successes are testimony to the enthusiasm, dedication and hard work of all our staff and students, and I feel very proud to receive this award in recognition of their efforts which enable the University to go from strength to strength.”

Professor Pearce was presented with her award at a special ceremony held at the Walkers Stadium in Leicester on Friday 14 March.

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Notes for editors

  1. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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