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Peter Williams, CBE

Peter Williams, CBE – Doctor of Laws

Recently retired from the office of Chief Executive of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and was formerly a member of the administration of the University of Leicester

From 1974 Peter Williams was in charge of the Higher Degrees Office at the University of Leicester. He was promoted in 1978 to Assistant Registrar in the Medical School, becoming Secretary of the School in 1982.

From 1984-1990 he was Deputy Secretary of the British Academy. In 1990 Peter was appointed as the first (and only) Director of the CVCP Academic Audit Unit (AAU), one of the first quality assurance agencies. In 1992 he became Director of the Quality Assurance Group of the Higher Education Quality Council (HEQC), which took over the responsibilities of the AAU, and in 1997 he became the Director of Institutional Review in the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), rising to the office of Chief Executive of QAA in 2002 and retiring in 2009.

Peter Williams has also participated in many international quality assurance projects. He is an Honorary Doctor of Laws of the Higher Education Training and Awards Council of Ireland (HETAC), an Honorary Fellow of the University of Worcester, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and currently Lower Warden of the Company of Educators.

Peter Williams is currently a member of the ‘Burgess Group’ looking at implementation of the new Higher Education Achievement Report, a director of the British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education, a Governor of the University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC) and a member of the Board of Academic Governors of Richmond The American International University in London. He has recently been appointed as a member of the Education Honours Committee.

In 2009 Peter Williams was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday honours list for services to higher education.

Press comment: “I lived in Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland between 1974 and 1986. For most of that time I worked in the University’s administration under Geoff Pyrah, and then in the Medical School, with Robert Kilpatrick. For some years I was also Senior Tutor in Beaumont Hall. My interest in Victorian architecture led me to help set up the Leicester Group of the Victorian Society and after the death of the first Chairman, Professor Jim Dyos of the University’s Department of Economic History, was prevailed upon to chair the Group.

“Leicester and the University have always meant a lot to me. City and county, and that other great county, Rutland, where I made my home for four years, offered so much liveliness, interest and natural beauty. Ruddling in the Welland valley, looking at Edwardian houses in Stoneygate or watching cricket at Grace Road, or just sitting in the Botanical Gardens at Beaumont Hall, those years formed an important and unforgettable part of my life.”

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