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Inspirational Leader Wins Civic Honour

University of Lincoln Vice-Chancellor Professor Mary Stuart CBE – who has driven the University’s “stellar growth” over the past decade - is the winner of this year’s Lincoln Civic Award.

Professor Stuart will be receiving this much-coveted accolade, which has been presented to an amazing number of outstanding individuals, world famous companies and worthy organisations, from the Mayor of Lincoln Councillor Keith Weaver at a special ceremony in the city’s Guildhall on April 4.

The announcement comes after the Lincoln Civic Award trustees considered a range of nominations in respect of individuals and organisations working in a variety of sectors and deciding that the nomination for Professor Stuart stood out.

The University was originally established by a set of public, private and third sector stakeholders, for the benefit of the community.

Professor Stuart’s nominator said:

“Since joining the University in 2009, Professor Stuart has been passionate about re-inventing its civic mission and has used this as a mechanism to accelerate and diversify its impact for the benefit of the wider community. 

“When Mary joined, there were 8,000 students, which has now grown to just over 15,000 students, with greatly enhanced research provision, infrastructure and capability.”

The University is now the fifth fastest-growing university in the UK, based on income growth since 2010 and, given the size of the regional economy, its impact is proportionately higher than many larger universities.  Its regional role runs through the fabric of the institution.

“Mary is acutely conscious of our role in contributing, not only to the sustainable economic growth of our community, but also in increasing social mobility (many students are the first in their family to attend a university or from under-represented areas) and the enhancement of the cultural eco-system.”

The University is also an important employer.  One in six working age residents in Lincoln are either a member of staff, a student or their job relies on the presence of the University.

The University is now ranked 22nd in the UK in The Guardian University Guide and in the top 10 for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey. Under Mary’s leadership, it established the first dedicated new engineering school in the UK for more than 20 years in collaboration with Siemens and expanded provision of science courses to tackle regional skills shortages, including creating the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park in partnership with Lincolnshire Co-op.

Last year the University announced it was successful in its joint bid with The University of Nottingham to create a new medical school for Lincolnshire with the first Lincoln-based undergraduate medical students due to enrol in September 2019.

The development of the University is credited with playing a key role in Lincoln being named in the Top 20 UK weekend destinations in Telegraph Visitor Attractions 2016/17.  The University is now the fifth largest revenue generator in the city.

Civic Award Trustees Chairman Henry Ruddock said:

“We were delighted to receive a real variety of nominations for this year’s Lincoln Civic Award and we are thrilled to be presenting it to Professor Mary Stuart in recognition of her role in diversifying the University, putting Lincoln on the wider map and creating a boost to the local economy.”

University of Lincoln Vice Chancellor Professor Mary Stuart CBE said:

“I am delighted and humbled to receive the Lincoln Civic Award.  Lincoln is a very special place and our successes as a University are deeply intertwined with those of the city – it has always been a collective effort.

“The University was created thanks to the vision and ambition of local people and I feel extremely lucky to be a custodian of it.  That original civic mission to create new opportunities for local people and support our local economy and cultural heritage still motivates me and my colleagues today.”

Professor Stuart is just the latest recipient of the Lincoln Civic Award.  Last year Lincoln City Football Club’s managers were thrilled to receive the striking silver trophy at a celebratory evening in the Guildhall – just days after the Imps won the final of the Checkatrade Trophy at Wembley, where the team beat Shrewsbury Town 1-0.

Earlier winners include Candles (a cancer survivors’ charity set-up by Pam Connock and Dyllys Firth), The Red Arrows, The Lincolnshire Cultural Society, BBC Radio Lincolnshire, the Lincolnshire Echo and The Rotary Club of Lincoln Colonia.

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