The University of Leicester has honoured its former Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Robert Burgess, at its summer degree congregations.
Professor Burgess, who spent 15 years congratulating thousands of students as they collected their degrees, took centre stage to receive a Leicester degree of his own.
The event, at De Montfort Hall, saw Professor Burgess, accompanied by Lady Burgess, being lauded for his achievements at Leicester and in higher education as a whole. He was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws before a gathering of academic and civic leaders as well as students and their families from around the world.
He has already been knighted for his services to the sector and he currently leads a national review of the traditional degree classification system.
Professor Burgess said: “As the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, I feel very honoured to receive a degree from my University that has made a major impact locally, nationally and internationally. The University has made numerous contributions to the locality through research and teaching. There are many examples of high quality work in genetics, space science and more recently in archaeology through the discovery of Richard III – a piece of work which I hope will promote tourism and new jobs in the city and the county, thus utilising the importance of a university to its locality.”
Professor Sir Robert Burgess was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester for 15 years, prior to his retirement in September 2014. He is currently chair of NatCen Social Research, the country’s largest independent research organisation, and of the Board of Governors for GSM, London, which provides higher education programmes. He is also President of the Society for Research in Higher Education and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences. He now chairs the Higher Education Achievement Report Implementation Group and the Grade Point Average Advisory Group.
In 2010, he was awarded a Knighthood for services to Higher Education. He has held national roles in a range of major organisations including: President of the British Sociological Association, President of the Association for the Teaching of the Social Sciences and Founding Chair of the UK Council for Graduate Education. He has been a member of the Council of the Economic and Social Research Council and a member of the British Library Board. He has been Chair of the Postgraduate Training Board of the Economic and Social Research Council and Chair of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and the Research Information Network. He has also been Chair of the East Midlands Universities Association and Honorary Secretary of the Society for Research in Higher Education.