WORCESTER’S ever-growing university has been well represented in this year’s New Year honours list, with three staff members receiving prestigious awards.
Ruth Jones, senior lecturer, researcher and consultant has been awarded an OBE for her years of work helping victims of domestic and sexual violence while the head of the university’s institute of education Professor Christine Robertson has been handed an MBE for services to higher education.
Pro vice-chancellor for students John Ryan, who lives in Great Malvern, has also been given an MBE for services to higher education.
Mrs Jones, who was named Worcestershire Woman of the Year in 2011 and a Woman Inspiring Europe in 2012, has led research and education into domestic violence for about a decade as well as helping victims, including setting up a 24-hour helpline in Worcester and working as a training manager at the Asha Women’s Centre in Bath Road.
She also designed the university’s first professional postgraduate qualification for those working with victims of domestic abuse and said she was delighted by the award.
“Words cannot describe my surprise at receiving the OBE,” she said.
“I feel both thrilled and humbled.
“The award is recognition not only of my work, but that of those I work with including my colleagues, external partners, students and service users.
“The University of Worcester has placed work on violence and abuse high on its agenda and our work informs national and international knowledge and understanding of violence and abuse, the way in which it is responded to and, ultimately, works towards prevention.”
Mrs Jones also worked alongside sexual violence charity Rape Crisis England and Wales to design the first postgraduate qualification for those working with victims and is leading the team setting up the National Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Abuse at Worcester University.
The university’s vice chancellor, David Green, described Mrs Jones as “an inspiring campaigner against domestic violence and sexual abuse”.
“Her work as an educator is in demand all over the world as public authorities, women’s and community groups and professionals work to support the victims of such violence," he said.
“Thanks to Ruth and her colleagues the University of Worcester’s courses and research are in such demand that 2014 will see the creation of the National Centre for the Prevention and Study of Violence and Abuse based at the university.”
Professor Robertson has received her honour for her work heading up the university’s Institute of Education, widely considered one of the best in the UK.
She said it was “quite an incredible surprise” to receive the honour.
Mr Ryan has been recognised for his work on the board of the University and Colleges Admission Services (UCAS) and is cited as one of the country’s leading experts on management of all aspects of higher education.