Shami Chakrabarti CBE and Professor Janet Beer to receive honorary degrees

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Shami Chakrabarti CBE

Professor Janet Beer and Shami Chakrabarti CBE will both receive Honorary Degrees from Oxford Brookes as part of next week’s graduation ceremonies.

Both will be joining students completing their studies in ceremonies on Friday 4 September. 

Earlier this year, Prof Beer left her role as Vice Chancellor of Oxford Brookes to take up the role of Vice Chancellor of the University of Liverpool. Under her leadership, Oxford Brookes continued to grow in stature locally, nationally and internationally. The quality of the student experience at the University was central to her vision and she also championed equality and diversity. This, combined with the excellence of the student experience at Brookes is her lasting legacy. 

Graduation is a time to reflect on and celebrate successes and it is wonderful that both Janet and Shami, two exceptional role models for our students, can join us at this special and memorable time of year.

Vice Chancellor Professor Alistair Fitt, Oxford Brookes University

An established researcher in late 19th and early 20th century American literature and culture, Professor Beer is also well known and respected in the higher education sector. She has undertaken various national leadership roles within the sector such as chair of the Higher Education Public Information Steering Group (responsible for the National Student Survey and Key Information Set), elected board member of UCAS and member of the Higher Education Policy Institute Advisory Board. She is also Chair of the Equality Challenge Unit and has previously been an Arts and Humanities Research Council panel member. 

Vice-Chancellor Professor Janet Beer

Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University said: “I’m delighted to announce that Oxford Brookes will be welcoming back Janet to receive an honorary degree during September’s graduations.

“As many will know, Janet left Oxford Brookes earlier this year having given inspirational and dedicated leadership during her tenure.
“Throughout her seven years at the University she led the continued success of Oxford Brookes and it is my great pleasure to be able to recognise her achievements, both in and outside of the University, in this way.

“Graduation is a time to reflect on and celebrate successes and it is wonderful that both Janet and Shami, two exceptional role models for our students, can join us at this special and memorable time of year.”

Shami Chakrabarti CBE is a respected human rights campaigner and has been Director of Liberty since September 2003. Since becoming Liberty’s Director she has written, spoken and broadcast widely on the importance of the post-World War 2 human rights framework which protects a free press and personal privacy as essential components of a democratic society.

A barrister by background, Shami was called to the Bar in 1994 and worked as a lawyer in the Home Office from 1996 until 2001 when she first joined Liberty as an In-House Counsel.

Shami took up the role of Chancellor of Oxford Brookes in 2008. Her term as Chancellor came to end in March 2015 when she passed the medal over to Dr Katherine Grainger CBE who took up the role. She was one of the six independent assessors advising Lord Leveson in his Public Enquiry into the Culture, Practice and Ethic of the UK Press. 

Professor Anne-Marie Kilday, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences said: “Shami has been a strong supporter of Oxford Brookes and during her seven-year term as Chancellor she gave a lot to the University – from attending graduation ceremonies to giving public lectures and officially opening the Abercrombie and John Henry Brookes buildings.

“More than this, the Chancellor is the University’s ceremonial figurehead, its ambassador and advocate and Shami was perfectly suited to the role. She was, and continues to be a role model and inspiration for staff and students alike.”

Both graduation ceremonies will take place on Friday 4 September at the Headington Campus.