Former USW Vice-Chancellor, Professor Julie Lydon, receives damehood in Queen’s New Year Honours List

Professor Julie Lydon retirement. November 2020

The University of South Wales’s former Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Julie Lydon OBE, has received a damehood in the Queen’s New Year Honours List, for services to higher education.

Dame Julie retired from USW in September 2021 after more than 15 years at the University, spending the last 11 years in the role of Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive. She was awarded an OBE for services to Higher Education in Wales in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2014.

During her tenure Dame Julie demonstrated strong academic leadership, innovative curriculum design, a passion for widening access and forging partnerships with industry.

Supporting the wider Higher Education sector, she was Chair of Universities Wales from 2017 to 2021, and sat on the boards of Universities UK, University Alliance and the National Council for Universities and Businesses. Dame Julie also tirelessly championed business and economic development within the region, including as a council member of CBI Wales, and board member of the Newport Economic Network and the Western Gateway. She played a leading role in helping the Welsh Higher Education sector through the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, and oversaw the creation of the University of South Wales in 2013 following the merger of the former University of Glamorgan and University of Wales, Newport.

Dame Julie said: “I am humbled to receive this award which plays tribute to the entire body of USW staff and students. Welsh universities have really pulled together during the Covid-19 pandemic, I’m proud of my contribution to this collaborative effort.”

Commenting on her honour, USW Vice-Chancellor, Dr Ben Calvert, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Julie has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to the Higher Education sector. As Wales’s first female Vice-Chancellor, Julie has been a true inspiration to many. This award is a fitting recognition of her leadership, vision, and contribution to the whole Higher Education sector.

“On behalf of everyone at USW, I’d like to express our warmest congratulations to Julie for this richly deserved honour.”