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Monday 28 July 2014

Vice-Chancellor awarded Doctor of University

Vice-Chancellor Professor Van Gore has been honoured by Southampton Solent in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the University. Professor Gore, who will be retiring at the end of the month, received the honorary degree of Doctor of the University at a special dinner celebrating his seven years as Vice-Chancellor at Solent.

The award is made to him in recognition of his achievement in working to gain university status for Solent in 2005; leading the institution through its formative years; and spearheading plans for an ambitious redevelopment of the University’s estate and facilities.

He was presented with the award by the University’s Chancellor Admiral The Right Honourable Lord West of Spithead, who said:

“As Vice-Chancellor Van has led the University’s rapid growth and development, creating a strong and distinctive university that is now widely acclaimed for its maritime, creative industries and sport specialisms.”

Being the first in his family to go to university, Professor Gore is a strong supporter of social justice and during his time at Solent he has crusaded to open up higher education to others like him.

Under his leadership, the University has championed social justice. Over 70% of its undergraduates are ‘first in family’ to enter higher education and 97.1% of young full-time first degree Solent students are from state schools.

The University statistics show that the accessibility of its facilities and its courses have broken down other barriers too; one in five (21%) of Solent full time undergraduates are from an ethnic minority and more than one in ten (11%) students 2012-13 had a self-declared disability.

Professor Gore is a keen advocate of creative, innovative and dynamic courses and recruitment has almost doubled over the last seven years under his leadership.

Recognising the importance of providing industry-ready graduates with the skills that business needs, he has championed the importance of employer-focused courses.

He has also been instrumental in forging beneficial partnerships with the city, industry, business groups and other educational institutions both at home and abroad.

Always looking at investing in the student experience, Professor Gore has been instrumental in paving the way for a stunning new £100 million development which will transform Solent’s city centre campus. Work has already started on the first phase – a new £30 million teaching and conference building due for completion in 2015.

This year, he was awarded the honour of a Commander of Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for his services to higher education.

On receiving his award Professor Gore told assembled guests from the University, industry, education and the region: “I am very proud to be receiving an Honorary Doctorate from Solent University, which is not simply a provider of Higher Education, but also a community asset, a business and an important employer in the region.”

Notes to editors: 

Professor Gore joined Southampton Institute in Summer 2001 as Vice Principal, Academic and was appointed Senior Vice Principal in September 2003. He became the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in July 2005 when Southampton Institute became Southampton Solent University, and was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University with effect from 1 August 2007.

Originally an historian – with a History and Politics first degree and then Masters in Modern British Politics from Sheffield University – Professor Gore became Head of Humanities and Communication Studies and Special Policy Advisor on Quality and Standards to the Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University. He first moved to Sheffield as a lecturer in modern European political history after postgraduate research in social history at the University of Warwick. He later developed an interest in quality management, working as a consultant and QAA auditor in the HE sector here and overseas.

Professor Gore chaired the Hampshire & IOW life long learning network from 2006-2010. He was chair of HE European Funding Service (HEEFS) from 2009-2011 and is a director of Laser Learning Awards (the successor to OCNSR, The Open College Network South East Region).