Helen Bowles, Deputy CEO at GuildHE has been awarded MBE for services to Higher Education in the Queen’s New Year Honours. In a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, Helen received her award from the Princess Royal, and was honoured alongside Olympians and Paralympians, including David Weir CBE and Sir Ben Ainslie, and artist Tracy Emin CBE. Helen moved into higher education after some time spent teaching basic skills and English for speakers of other languages. She worked at Anglia Ruskin University and Writtle College before joining GuildHE.

Helen Bowles MBEHelen said:

“I owe a huge debt of gratitude to colleagues at GuildHE – it’s a great place to work and I was very touched to be put forward for an award. I was particularly pleased that it was the Princess Royal at the Investiture because I know she has links with a number of our member institutions. She seemed very well informed – she asked me about GuildHE’s work and knew that a number of university colleges had now become universities.

Her final comment was that she would like to visit more GuildHE institutions. I was so overcome by the whole thing that I nearly forgot my final curtsey – despite being coached in the waiting area by Beth Tweddle’s gymnastics coach who was also up for an award!”

GuildHE CEO, Andy Westwood, said:

“We are all delighted and very proud of Helen. She deserves this recognition for all her hard work. Her commitment to providing better services and support for our institutions  and students is exemplary. We have been glad to be able to draw on her knowledge of the HE sector, policy and providers – it is great that it has been recognised in this way.”