Regius professorship awarded by Queen to mark Diamond Jubilee

Posted on 30/01/2013

The Department of Music at Royal Holloway has been awarded a prestigious Regius Professorship by the Queen, the Government has announced this week.

The Department is among a select group of elite universities to be recognised for their exceptionally high quality of research and teaching. The Queen, who will bestow the awards to mark her Diamond Jubilee, took advice from Ministers, who were advised by a panel of eminent academics.

Professor Paul Layzell, Principal, said: “This is an incredible achievement and I am delighted that our outstanding research and teaching has been given world-class recognition by the Queen, ministers and leading academics. It is an honour that our Department of Music richly deserves and reflects the talents of the entire staff.”

Professor Julian Johnson Head of Music, said: “It is a great honour to have the title of Regius Professor bestowed upon the department and wonderful to hear that the quality of our teaching and research has been recognised in this way.

“We know that our students rate our teaching very highly and indeed our research placed us as the top Music Department in the UK in the last Research Assessment Exercise. It means a great deal to receive such a mark of public esteem.”

In the past, Regius Professorships were created when a university chair was founded or endowed by a Royal patron and they were limited to a handful of the ancient universities, namely Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Trinity College, Dublin.

The title of Regius Professor has notably been held by the late historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford, and the 18th century poet Thomas Gray, who was Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge.

The creation of Regius Professorships falls under the Royal Prerogative, and each appointment is approved by the Monarch on ministerial advice. Only two others have been awarded in the last century, to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin in 2009. Before then, the most recent Regius Professorship was created by Queen Victoria.

Applications were judged on the university's excellence in the proposed discipline and the recognition a department's work has gained.

Professor Katie Normington, Dean of Arts and Social Science, said: “It is a real mark of distinction that Royal Holloway has received the only Regius Professorship in Arts and Humanities in these awards. It is a fitting tribute to our world-class Music department.”

The new posts of Regius Professor are:

* University of Dundee - Life Sciences

* Imperial College, London - Engineering

* London School of Economics and Political Science - Economics

* The Open University - Open Education

* University of Manchester - Physics

* Royal Holloway, University of London - Music

* University of Essex - Political Science

* King's College London - Psychiatry

* University of Reading - Meteorology and Climate Science

* University of Southampton - Computer Science

* University of Surrey - Electronic Engineering

* University of Warwick - Mathematics

Each institution will assign the title to an existing Professor at the chosen Department or will appoint a new Professor to take the Chair and hold the title.

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