Honorary degrees for Professors Kingdon and Whitty

04 February 2013

Two distinguished IOE academics have recently been conferred honorary degrees for the outstanding services to education.

Former Director of the IOE – Professor Geoff Whitty received an honorary doctorate from The Hong Kong Institute of Education, for "advances in the betterment of education, social progress and humanity".

Professor Geeta Kingdon was awarded an honorary doctorate from Kingston University for her "outstanding contributions" to the field of Education and International Development.

Of his award, Professor Whitty said:

'I was delighted to receive this award from an institution that IOE worked closely with during my years as Director.  In honouring me, I am sure the Hong Kong Institute of Education also wanted to recognise the important contribution that its partnership the IOE has made to its development. The ceremony in Hong Kong was a glittering occasion, which I enjoyed enormously'.

Professor Whitty, who served as IOE Director from 2000 – 2010, was awarded a CBE in the Queen's 2011 Birthday Honours List.

Currently a professor at the School of Management in Bath and Director Emeritus of the IOE, Professor Whitty is a former president of the British Educational Research Association and the College of Teachers, and a past chair of the British Council's Education and Training Advisory Committee. From 2005-12 he was an education advisor on education reform to successive Education Select Committees and he is currently a member of the board of Ofsted.

Professor Whitty has also held visiting appointments in the US and New Zealand, and honorary professorships at Beijing Normal University, Northwest Normal University, Shenyang Normal University and Xinjiang Normal University in China.

On her award, Professor Kingdon said:

"I greatly enjoyed the ceremony and the recognition at Kingston. I attribute much of whatever contribution I have been able to make to the field (of education and international development) to the many colleagues with whom I have been fortunate to work".

Professor Kingdon has been a McNamara Fellow of the World Bank and held faculty positions at the Economics Departments of the University of Bristol, the London School of Economics, and the University of Oxford, before moving to the Institute of Education in 2007. She has been an adviser to the House of Commons all-party Parliamentary Select Committee on International Development, giving evidence on the future of British aid to India, and a long-term adviser to the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government of India.

Professor Kingdon advises donor agencies, especially DFID, the EU and the World Bank, on their education related aid to developing countries. Professor Kingdon is currently also President of City Montessori School (Lucknow, India) which is recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest school, with over 45,000 students in 2012.