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President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Christoph Lindner (Chair)

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Naren Barfield

Vice-President of the Students’ Union, Mary Pedicini

One independent member of the Council (appointment co-terminus with Council appointment)

Dr Tristram Hunt

Term limited (three years)

Two members of Senior Management Team at least one of whom shall be a Dean:

Dr Adrian Lahoud (1 May 2021 – 30 April 2024)

Kerry Curtis (1 May 2021 – 30 April 2024)

One member of the Senate:

Professor Johnny Golding ( 1 May 2021 – 30 April 2024)


Four members

Terms of Reference

  1. To recommend to the Council for approval Honorary Doctorates to be awarded at Convocation.
  2. To approve Honorary Fellowships and Fellowships to be awarded at Convocation.
  3. To abide by the Nolan Principles of Public Life in recommending and agreeing College Honours.
  4. To develop and oversee a strategy for the selection of Honorary Doctors.
  5. To ensure a diverse list of Honorands, reflective of the College’s global standing and of its objectives and mission.
  6. To keep under review the College’s Policy on College Honours (at least every three years).
  7. To report to the Council and the Senate on College honours.
  8. Consider the withdrawal of Honorary Degrees and the revocation of Honorary Fellowships and Fellowships and to make recommendations to the Council for such withdrawals and revocations.

Honours Policy and nominations

Policy on College Honours


The Honours Committee receives nominations for College honours which are aligned with its mission, values and vision and reflect its diversity and its commitment to equality and to promoting opportunity locally, nationally and globally. Through its network of ambassadors and honorary graduates, the College will continue to raise its global profile and reputation for excellence.

Strategic Approach

  1. Prioritising new areas of teaching and research excellence in accordance with the strategic plan areas.
  2. Prioritising diversity, reflecting the College’s global status and diverse student body.
  3. Nominations to mirror current or upcoming strategic developments and events.
  4. Strategy on Honorands should be reviewed and approved by the Council.


Honorary Doctor

Their work should be held in international esteem and they should have brought distinction to their chosen discipline, contributing to a specific field or society in general. There is a strong presumption that Honorary Doctorates will be conferred upon individuals whose life work is related to the academic disciplines and research programmes of the RCA.

Honorary Doctors do not need to have a prior link with the College but could be:

  1. Academics with an international reputation who have an existing or potential link with the College.
  2. National or international figures whose work serves to make a statement about the College’s mission and vision.
  3. Recognition of achievements which have not previously been recognised.
  4. Persons who bring distinction through association, future advocacy or support to the College.
  5. The RCA will ensure that honorary doctorates are awarded in accordance with its values and policies concerning equality, diversity, inclusion, and widening participation.

Honorary Fellowship

A number of the following criteria will be used when awarded honorary fellowships:

  1. distinguished associates of the College, they will have achieved distinction in their area of practice, academia or public life;
  2. Council members who have rendered exceptional service during their appointment;
  3. Departing Deans/ Heads of Programme who have rendered exceptional service but do not meet the criteria for Professor Emeritus (i.e. are not retiring);
  4. Supporters and champions of the College who have rendered exceptional service to the College.


Fellowships are awarded to employees of the College and the criteria are:

  1. Employees who have made an important contribution to the College in their area of work or expertise.
  2. Recognition of exceptional service to the College.


The College does not normally consider nominations for:

  1. Currently serving politicians (British or overseas) or from those who hold responsibility for Higher Education or research funding in the United Kingdom. Members of the House of Lords are not normally excluded as long as they are not holding formal government posts at the time.
  2. Individuals who are currently closely involved with the College such as in the role of Visiting or Research Professor.
  3. Members of Council, except where they have indicated their intention to step down.
  4. Members of College staff on the basis of their service to the College, but they may be considered on the basis of exceptional service at a regional, national or international level (applies to Honorary Doctorates/ Honorary Fellowships).

How do I nominate?

Nominations can be made by contacting the governance team [email protected] you will be asked to complete a short nominations form which will be considered by the Honours Committee.

Frequency of meetings



4 October 2023, 3–4.30pm