Planning, Governance and Compliance

Honorary Degrees Committee

Honorary Degrees Committee invites nominations for Honorary Awards.

Honorary Degrees, Fellowships, Gold Medals: Criteria

Current Honorary Degree recipients

Making a nomination

1,Honorary Degrees, Fellowships, Gold Medals: Criteria

i) Criteria for nominations:

(a)  individuals who have achieved academic excellence in their field and who would bring distinction to the University. Such individuals may either (i) have contributed to the work of the University or (ii) by association with the University bring future advocacy or support to the University;

(b)  individuals who have played an important public role contributing to the development, progress or change in society.

ii) Exclusions:

The Committee does not normally consider nominations for:

(a)  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.

(b)  current members of University staff simply on the basis of their service to the University, but they may be considered on the basis of exceptional service at a regional, national or international level.

(c) individuals who are currently closely involved with the University such as in the role of Visiting or Research Professo 

(d)  currently serving members of Council, except where they have indicated their intention to step down.

iii) Categories of Honorary Degree:

The University awards honorary doctorates in these categories: Law, Literature, Music, Science, Medicine and the University.

2.  Fellowships

i)  Criteria for nominations:

Fellowships of the University of Sussex be awarded to individuals who have either:

(a)  rendered an exceptional contribution to the University; or

(b)  attained distinction in the arts, literature, science, business or public life.

“Exceptional contribution to the University” can be either:

a)  exceptional service to the University e.g. outstanding teaching or professional service contribution; or

b)  alumni who have made an outstanding contribution via advocacy, teaching, mentoring or other voluntary work on behalf of the University.

ii)  Exclusions:

The Committee does not normally consider nominations for:

(a)  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.

(b)  currently serving members of Council, except where they have indicated their intention to step down.

iii)  Categories: None

3.  Gold Medals for Philanthropy

i)  Criteria for nominations

Gold Medals for Philanthropy may be awarded to individuals, foundations or corporations who have a strong association with the University and have, following due diligence, made an exceptional contribution to the institution through their philanthropic support, either as a one off gift or over a long period of time.

ii)  Exclusions:

None – the evaluation of the suitability of donors is addressed via the due diligence arrangements of the University’s Donations Policy.

iii)  Categories:

None.

4. Vice Chancellor’s Gold Medals

i)  Criteria for nominations

Vice Chancellor’s Gold Medals may be awarded from time to time to people associated with

the University who have made a global academic or social impact.

ii)  Exclusions:

The Committee does not normally consider nominations for:

(a)  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;

(b)  currently serving members of Council, except where they have indicated their intention to step down.

iii)  Categories:

None.

The Committee will have regard to equality and diversity; ensuring that awards are made without bias in relation to gender, race, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, socio- economic background or any other irrelevant distinction and take account of the international dimension which characterises much of the University's activity, and shall monitor this on a regular basis.

The Committee welcomes nominations for the award of Honorary Degrees, which should be submitted in confidence to the Secretary to Honorary Degrees Committee. Nominations may be submitted at any time and will be carried forward for consideration at the next available meeting of the Committee. To avoid embarrassment, no mention should be made to the nominee. Once the nomination has been approved by Senate, the initial formal approach will be made by the Vice-Chancellor.

Approved by Senate and Council in November 2016 (future changes will not require approval by Council)

The Committee will have regard to equality and diversity; ensuring that awards are made without bias in relation to gender, race, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic background or any other irrelevant distinction and take account of the international dimension which characterises much of the University's activity.

The Committee welcomes nominations for the award of Honorary Degrees, which should be submitted in confidence to the Secretary to Honorary Degrees Committee. Nominations may be submitted at any time and will be carried forward for consideration at the next available meeting of the Committee. To avoid embarrassment, no mention should be made to the nominee. The initial, formal approach will be made by the Vice-Chancellor, and (where the offer has been accepted) the nomination will then be reported to Senate and Council before the names are published.

Current Honorary Degree recipients

A searchable listing of current Honorary Degree holders can be found here

Making a nomination

Nominations should be submitted on an  Honorary degree nomination form [DOCX 20.67KB]. The reason why the University should honour a particular individual should be stated on the form. It should, where possible, be accompanied by a short, up-to-date curriculum vitae (such as an extract from Who's Who). For those who do not have the facility to download this form, a copy is obtainable from the Governance Office, Sussex House, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9RH. Forms must be received at least ten working days prior to the next meeting of the Committee. Information on when the Committee meets can be found using the Committee timetable  or by contacting the Secretary listed on the main committees page.