Professor Ray Linforth, chair of governors at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College Group, has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year honours with an OBE. Professor Linforth, who is vice-chancellor and principal, University College Birmingham, was honoured for his services to further and higher education in the West Midlands.
He has been credited with helping to increase the impact of the North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College Group by helping to develop high profile partnerships enabling the Group to fulfil its ambition to operate at the heart of its communities.
Professor Linforth’s influence has promoted the development of partnerships and joint ventures designed to deliver specialist training for the automotive engineering, logistics, and the health and life sciences sectors. He has led the Corporation of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College Group in successful projects including the submission of a bid to build an Institute of Technology (IoT) in logistics with its hub at Magna Park.
He also recently supported the College during an Ofsted monitoring visit in which it was judged to have made significant progress in meeting the needs of its students, the local community and employers, as well as enhancing the rigour of its governing body while managing its finances well.
Marion Plant OBE FGCI, Principal and Chief Executive of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College Group said, “Having worked closely with Professor Linforth for some time, he has always shown extraordinary commitment to skills and further education and is a deserving recipient of the OBE.”
Professor Linforth said, “I’m humbled but delighted to have been nominated for this award by colleagues in both the further and higher education sectors. Whatever I have done or achieved has been with the support of so many other people, so this award is as much for them, as it is for me.”
A resident of Burbage for nearly 40 years, Professor Linforth began his further education career in the General Education Department at North Warwickshire College of Technology and Art, teaching politics, English and physical education for seven years between 1978 and 1985.
He has worked at University College Birmingham for over 30 years, originally joining the staff of what was then Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies as deputy principal in January 1988. In August 2008, he became principal and led the institution to gain its university title in November 2012.
He chairs the education committee of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and sits on the Academy’s management committee. He is chief executive of the Bocuse d’Or UK Academy and a Fellow of the City and Guilds of London Institute.