The Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, Professor Sir Chris Husbands, has received his knighthood from HRH the Duke of Cambridge.

Recognised for his services to higher education in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, Sir Chris, together with his family, attended Buckingham Palace for the investiture ceremony led by Prince William.

After being the first in his family to attend university and beginning his career as a teacher in urban comprehensive schools, Sir Chris has held leadership positions in four UK universities.  He has played a pioneering role in driving forward improvements to the quality of teaching in higher education nationally and internationally.

In 2016 the Government appointed him as the inaugural Chair of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) which aims to improve the quality of teaching throughout the sector. He has also advised local and national governments across the world.

As Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam since January 2016, Sir Chris leads one of the UK’s largest universities, committed to a vision of becoming the world’s leading applied university, creating educational opportunities for people from all backgrounds and communities. Last year, Sheffield Hallam admitted more undergraduate students from neighbourhoods across the country with historically low numbers going on to university than any other provider in the UK.

Under his leadership, Sheffield Hallam has seen an increase in its standing within sector league tables and the University has also launched a range of new regional projects with the aim of improving social mobility, health and the local economy across the Sheffield City Region.

From 2011 to 2015, Sir Chris was director of the Institute of Education at the University College London where he became vice provost for academic development. The Institute of Education was rated first in the world for education in the QS university rankings in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education in 2015.

Responding to the announcement, Sir Chris, said: “I feel incredibly humbled and fortunate to accept this honour. The higher education I experienced has provided me with outstanding opportunities. Contributing towards the transformative effect universities can have on lives, regardless of someone’s background, is what continues to drive me.”

Lord Bob Kerslake, Chair of the Board of Governors at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Everyone at Sheffield Hallam is particularly proud that Chris has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to higher education.

“Since becoming Vice-Chancellor his energy and passion for unlocking the potential of universities to transform lives has shone through. This is a richly deserved honour.”