Rona Fairhead bestowed NCUB Fellowship

Rona Fairhead bestowed NCUB Fellowship

Rona Fairhead CBE was awarded an NCUB fellowship at NCUB Annual Lecture at the Royal Institute in London.

Presenting the award David Docherty, CEO of NCUB, described her as "an exceptional executive and colleague".

In her acceptance speech Rona Fairhead said "I really, really am honoured to be given this accolade, it means a huge amount to me. I am completely a believer in the importance of education, in the importance of the need of education to work ceaselessly with business so that together we build a much stronger and frankly a better society."

She praised the work of the NCUB, describing it as "the place to build on best practice to allow companies to work with universities and colleges and pull through the talent and to work with talent and push them into business and encourage them I think is absolutely the way of the future".

Concluding her remarks, she re-emphasised her belief in the importance of universities: "I have some kids now who are thinking of going into university and my 17 year old said to me but why should I bother, why should I go to university and I said you're right it's just a building, there's nothing much happening in there it just has the future in it. And that's what I believe."

Rona Fairhead has worked closely with the NCUB and its predecessor body the CIHE, including chairing its creative and digital task force alongside Sir Christopher Snowden of the University of Surrey. The resulting report, The Fuse, has lead to over £6 million in funding for projects in Brighton and London.  

She studied at Cambridge and Harvard universities and was Chief Executive of the Financial Times Group from 2006 until standing down earlier this year.

This was the first fellowship awarded since the launch of the NCUB. Previous winners of the CIHE fellowship are Sir Tim Wilson and Sir Rob Margetts.

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