Vice-Chancellor Professor Bob Allison

Loughborough Vice-Chancellor Professor Bob Allison awarded CBE

Professor Robert Allison, Vice-Chancellor and President of Loughborough University, has been made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for services to education and to supporting young people’s talent, equality and achievement.

Professor Allison was educated at Northallerton Grammar School. He gained a BA in Geography from Hull University and was awarded a Ph.D. from King’s College London. In 1986 he was appointed as the Addison Wheeler Research Fellow at the University of Durham.

After a period as a lecturer at University College London, he moved to the University of Durham, becoming Professor of Geography in 1999. He also served as the University’s Head of the Department of Geography and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health.

In 2006 he joined the University of Sussex as Pro Vice-Chancellor, eventually becoming Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Allison was appointed as Loughborough University’s Vice-Chancellor and President in 2012.

Of his award, Professor Allison said: “The award of a CBE has come as a complete surprise. Throughout my career in higher education I have had the good fortune to work with many talented people, who have supported me and been central to any personal achievement.

“This is particularly the case at Loughborough University, where I am privileged to have delightful colleagues and students. They have given much to the University in recent years and without their contribution to our success this recognition would have never come my way. I owe them much and shall always be grateful.”

Christine Hodgson, who is chair of Loughborough University Council (the organisation’s governing body) and Senior Pro-Chancellor, added: “I am delighted that Bob has been recognised in this way for his outstanding contribution to education and in particular to Loughborough University and its student community.”

During Professor Allison’s tenure at Loughborough, the University has risen into the top ten in every national newspaper league table and has been named University of the Year five times. He has overseen a period of significant expansion at the institution, with the establishment of the University’s London campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the development of the Science and Enterprise Park on the Loughborough site.

Professor Allison has been a driving force behind the Loughborough student experience, which is widely recognised as the best in the UK. He champions the students’ involvement in activities that enable them to make the fullest contribution possible to society and is an enthusiastic supporter of Loughborough sport.

Alongside his role as Vice-Chancellor, Professor Allison holds a number of external appointments. For example, he was the Higher Education (HE) representative of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills’ Enterprise Education Expert Group, the international HE adviser to the Minister for Education in Brunei, is a member of several speciality groups within Universities UK (the collective group for the country’s HE institutions) and is a member of the national Advisory Committee on Degree Awarding Powers.

He is also on the Board the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), Honorary Canon Professor of Leicester Cathedral, a governor of Loughborough Endowed Schools, Trustee of the Oval Learning Trust, and Vice President of Leicestershire Scouts.

Professor Allison is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and of the British Society for Geomorphology. During his career he has received several honours and awards, including the Cuthbert Peek Award from the Royal Geographical Society, the Charles Lyell Award from the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Jan De Ploey Prize from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Most recently, he was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

In related news, the University’s Executive Director of Sport, John Steele has also been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to sport. Read the press release here.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 21/102

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 7th in the Guardian University League Table 2021, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and 6th in The UK Complete University Guide 2021.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.