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About SOAS

Sir Martin Harris CBE, MA, PhD

Sir Martin Harris

Sir Martin Harris is a linguistics and philology graduate of Queens’ College Cambridge and finished his five year term as President of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge in 2013.

Sir Martin is a SOAS alumnus and holds a PhD in General Linguistics and Phonetics. He was also a  member of the SOAS Governing Body from 1989–1993.

He began his academic career at the University of Leicester in 1967, where he lectured in French Linguistics and then spent fifteen years at the University of Salford as a Senior Lecturer,
Professor of Linguistics, Dean and later, Pro-Vice-Chancellor.

Sir Martin Harris CBE FRCP, Honorary Doctorate, 2013 Graduation

Sir Martin’s first appointment as Vice-Chancellor was at the University of Essex in 1987. From 1992–2004 Sir Martin was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester and Chancellor of Salford University from 2005–2009. He has been Chairman of the Universities Superannuation Scheme
since 2006 and served as Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals (now Universities UK) from 1997–1999.

He has chaired a number of national reviews, in particular in the fields of modern languages, careers services and postgraduate education, most recently on Fair Access for the Browne Review of Higher Education and was Director of the Office for Fair Access from 2004–2012.

In 1992 Sir Martin was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and he was knighted in the Millennium Honours List for services to higher education.

He also holds a number of honorary awards including an Honorary Fellowship from Queens’ College Cambridge.