Vice-Chancellor's Fellow: Professor Mary Stuart CBE

Professor Mary Stuart is Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln.

She is a graduate of the University of Cape Town, SA and the Open University, UK where she obtained her Doctorate in Social Policy in 1998.  Her research interests are focussed on social mobility and higher education, Life Histories and Civic Engagement and Leadership in 21st Century organisations.

Mary has a strong track record in all aspects of university leadership, having worked in senior roles in three different universities.  Since joining Lincoln she has developed the University significantly, including growing Science provision and establishing a new Medical School and developing a strong research base centred on local to global activities including the Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology and the Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health and Care and the Centre for Culture and Creativity. Mary has driven local and regional engagement highlighting Lincoln’s role as a 21st century Civic University, to enhance the regional economy and to connect the global challenges with local need.  She has recently worked as a Commissioner on the Civic University Commission to develop national policy guidelines on Civic Universities. She is the founder of the 21st century Lab examining higher education’s response to changing society in our time.

Passionate about the student experience, Mary seeks to continually drive change and improvements in partnership with students, alumni and the academic community promoting the traditional concept of a community of scholars. Mary was named as the Guardian’s ‘Most Inspiring Leader in Higher Education’ at their HE awards in 2018.  She was also awarded a CBE for her services to Higher Education in the same year.  This year the University of Lincoln was named as Modern University of the Year in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide and this year Mary was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce.

National commitments

Mary has always been involved in policy developments nationally.  She was a Higher Education Funding Council for England Board member until 2018 and  is currently a Commissioner on the UPP Foundation’s Student Futures Commission,  was Vice Chair of University UK’s Advisory panel on Admissions and a commissioner on the Civic Universities Commission, a Trustee of the Universities Partnership Programme (UPP) Foundation and a Fellow of the Bridge Group.  Mary is also a member of the National Civic University Network Advisory Group and a member of the Arts Council Cultural Cities Recovery Roundtable. This year after the establishment of the UPP/WonkHE Student Futures Commission, Mary has been appointed as one of the Commissioners. She will be the Chair the sub theme on international students for the future which will report at the end of 2021.

Regional and community commitments

Mary is Chair of the Lincoln Cultural and Arts Partnership (LCAP) and a Founding Director of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (GLLEP).  She is a member of the Greater Lincolnshire Leaders Board, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Innovation Council, Director of Lincoln Science and Innovation Park (LSIP), Chair of the Members of Lincolnshire Educational Trust (LET) and member of the Lincoln University Technical College (UTC).  Mary also chairs the Lincoln Town Deal Board and the North Lincolnshire Town Deal Board supporting her local town's economic, social and cultural development.