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Professor Alison Honour.

I have over 25 years of experience in a broad range of senior academic leadership roles and management in higher education. I have held senior leadership roles at three large post-92 Universities with experience in both strategic and operational leadership. 

Alison Honour photo

Professor Alison Honour

Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Previous to joining Canterbury Christ Church, I held two Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of Faculty roles for the Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities at De Montfort University and most recently for the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media at Birmingham City University where I lead one of the top five largest portfolios of creative disciplines in the UK with an operating budget of £60m, almost 6,000 students and 380 staff across four large creative institutes. The institutes comprised eight Schools including, Art, Architecture and Design, Media, English, Fashion and Textiles, Games, Film and Animation and Visual Communication alongside the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with the School of Acting and the Queen’s Anniversary Award winning School of Jewellery. During the twelve years I spent at Oxford Brookes University, my career developed from being a technician, lecturer, senior lecturer, Head of School for five years and Associate Dean Student Experience for three years.

With experience of global partnership development, I have grown high-quality TNE partnerships in Hong Kong, China, India, Egypt, Malaysia, Singapore, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Thailand, Canada, UAE and USA. I have worked extensively in India, speaking at conferences about STEAM education and leading on Bollywood film partnerships with Yash Raj Films in Mumbai, bringing Bollywood directors to Birmingham.

I am an Aurora mentor for Women in leadership for women into professorship. In my previous role, I co-led the BCU Black Lives matter and Antiracist Commitment Plan in partnership with students and staff.

I am a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a National Teaching Fellow with my Professorship awarded in two categories; Academic Leadership and Professional Achievement for my work in leading the development of inclusive student experience projects and pan-university cocurricular frameworks to enhance the student experience with an aim to improve social and cultural capitol for less advantaged students. This included the Oxford Brookes Social Entrepreneurship cocurricular programme developed in partnership with the University of Oxford working with Ashoka ‘Change Maker’ Universities around the world. Evidence of impact included the Oxford Social Enterprise Partnership (OSEP), the ‘Oxford Launchpad’ in partnership with University of Oxford, SAID Business School and the City of Oxford being named the first ‘Place of Social Enterprise’ in the UK. I have developed University Public Art programmes and collections, student professional practice projects with MOMA, the Tate Liverpool, Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford and Commonwealth Games design projects for Birmingham 2022. I have a particular research interest in interdisciplinary and collaborative pedagogy for social innovation and how creative approaches can add value to STEM subjects in the hybrid of STEAM and Createch education but also the role of arts in improving mental health and wellbeing.

What are your current priorities?

One of my leadership priorities is to lead the development of the new Strategic Framework 2023-2030 and to engage our wide range of stakeholders in this work including our students, student union, staff, our partnerships and other external stakeholders. In addition, but as a key aspect of this, I am also leading on two key strategic priorities to ensure that we deliver an outstanding student experience and that our measures of success demonstrate our excellence in our external metrics including the National Student Survey, the Teaching Excellence Framework, Access and Participation gaps and our league table positions.

What inspires you about Christ Church?

I was inspired by the opportunity to lead a civic and values driven University with a dynamic and diverse community of students and staff.

Canterbury Christ Church University is a catalyst for the region’s economy with excellence in learning and teaching, innovative applied research and entrepreneurship which has positive impact on all aspects of society from local to global. I was attracted not only by the strong heritage of teacher training, but also the opportunities which can be realised with multi-dimensional benefits that Canterbury Christ Church can deliver as a significant employer and skills developer for the region.

The University is well placed with its significant investment to meet the emerging needs of the STEM, medical and creative industries with students as active global citizens, applied research and real-world learning. I am excited by the opportunity to work closely with Professor Rama Thirunamachandran as a long standing, experienced and well-regarded Vice-Chancellor and to contribute to leading the University into its next phase of continued advancement. I am deeply motivated by the civic responsibility to respond to challenges presented by a post pandemic recovery, particularly in our towns and rural areas where health, education, arts and culture play a vital role in our communities and sense of place.