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Professor Cara Aitchison and Professor David Brooksbank for Outstanding Contribution to Higher Education


Two prominent members of staff at Cardiff Metropolitan University have this year been bestowed the accolade of becoming Fellows of the prestigious Learned Society of Wales.

Having passed a rigorous evaluation process, President and Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff Metropolitan University Professor Cara Aitchison and Professor David Brooksbank, Dean of Cardiff School of Management, have been elected for fellowship in the organisation's 2018 cycle.

The Learned Society of Wales currently has over 400 Fellows, consisting of distinguished men and women from all branches of learning – with the honour of fellowship signifying a public recognition of academic excellence.

Professors Aitchison and Brooksbank are two of just 42 new Fellows to be inducted into the organisation, with members spanning the arts, humanities, sciences and public service sectors.

Vice-Chancellor Aitchison's accolade comes in recognition of her outstanding contribution to public service, following 30 years' experience in higher education.

Her career has seen her lead significant improvement, growth and change management programmes within six UK universities, developing the volume, quality and impact of education and research delivered by these institutes.

As Professor of Geography and Cultural Economy Cara Aitchison also has a track record of world-leading research in her field.

She has held research professorships at Edinburgh University and the University of the West of England, Bristol, was Chair of the last Research Excellence Framework Sub-Panel for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism in REF 2014 and is a Council member of the Academy of Social Sciences, having been elected as a Fellow of the AcSS in 2003.

Speaking on the news of her nomination, Professor Aitchison said: "Fellowship of The Learned Society of Wales is an honour, not simply because of its recognition of leadership and research but also because it recognises a commitment to Wales where I've now settled having sold my house in Scotland and bought a property in Cardiff.

"As Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff Met I look forward to doing even more to play a full part in leading the advancement of research, innovation and education in Wales."

Meanwhile, Professor Brooksbank's Fellowship is reward for the exceptional contribution that he has made to his field during the 27 years in which he has worked in Welsh higher education.

Having joined Cardiff Met in 2008, Dr Brooksbank is a Professor of Enterprise and has been Dean of the School of Management since 2012 – playing a prominent role in the development of the School and University over the past decade.

The accolade comes as recognition of his internationally excellent research undertaken in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation and of the practical impact that this has had on small firm development in Wales and beyond. 

His work has also attracted large amounts of funding for numerous projects focussed on developing a better understanding of enterprise and entrepreneurship with a particular focus on enterprise education and incubation of new ideas.

On the news of his election as a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, he said: "Enterprise and innovation are at the heart of any successful economy and whilst I am personally delighted with the recognition of my work by the Learned Society of Wales, the accolade is due in no small part to the fantastic teams of colleagues that I have worked with throughout my career.

"My academic field has grown exponentially over the past few decades, with independent and rigorous assessment of both policy and practice becoming the norm. Long may this continue."