Honorary Degrees Committee

Honorary Degrees shall be conferred after approval by a Joint Committee of the Senate and the Council.


Suggestions and nominations for Honorary Degrees will be considered annually by the Honorary Degrees Committee at its meeting in March.

Members of the Honorary Degrees Committee and the Faculty Executive Boards are invited to submit suggestions, together with Heads of Departments and the wider University community. We are particularly keen to ensure that there is diversity amongst the suggestions, so particularly encourage our staff networks to put forward suggestions.

Before submitting a nomination

The following considerations should be borne in mind in submitting nominations.

1. The categories of persons who might normally be considered for the award of Honorary Degrees include:

  • Former students of the University who have risen to the heights of their chosen career or field of service;
  • Those who have given distinguished service or brought distinction to the University, the City of Sheffield or the region;
  • Distinguished scholars or other persons of national and/or international standing.

Whilst it is expected that most Honorary Graduates will fall into one or more of these criteria they are not exclusive.

Exceptional cases will be considered in respect of outstanding individuals whose association in name with the University will be beneficial.

2. It is expected that at least three nominations will be put forward by each Faculty.

3. The object of awarding Honorary Degrees is essentially to bring people into the fellowship of the University, covering the following key areas:

  • It is expected that those who receive Honorary Degrees should exemplify in some way the University's values. The reputation and profile of Honorary Graduates should resonate with those of the University and provide an inspiring example, especially to graduating students;
  • It is expected that Honorary Graduates will collectively reflect the University's local, regional, national and international standing;
  • The University recognises the role that Honorary Graduates can play as ambassadors of the University, thereby contributing to the achievement of its mission.

4. Whilst a demonstrable personal connection with Sheffield and its region is encouraged, there will be consideration of nominations where there is the potential to build such a valuable relationship.

5. Staff in post will only be considered in exceptional circumstances, for example if a member of staff has received external recognition for achievements unrelated to their University role.

6. Consideration may be given to former/retired members of staff who demonstrate service or distinction far beyond the usual remit of their post or who have served the University in other ways, or have achieved distinction in areas unrelated to their University role.

7. There is no upper or lower age limit. However, in considering nominations, emphasis will be placed on the height of achievement rather than its length. Nominations submitted well after the achievements on which the case for an award is based are unlikely to be successful.

8. Nominations in respect of individuals considered by the Honorary Degrees Committee in the preceding three academic years will not be eligible for consideration, except at the invitation of the Committee.

  • A list of those who have previously been awarded Honorary and Ex-Officio Degrees is published in the University Calendar.

The University reserves the right to withdraw an Honorary or Ex-Officio Degree in the event that an Honorary or Ex-Officio Graduate, through behaviour or actions subsequent to his or her award, brings the University into disrepute.

The decision to withdraw a Degree rests ultimately with the Council, acting on the recommendation of the Honorary Degrees Committee and after report from the Senate.

NB: Those completing the nomination form are reminded not to inform the nominee that they have been nominated for an Honorary Degree. Nominators will also be expected to assist the orators with the oration, should the nomination be successful.


Submitting a nomination

Suggestions should be submitted via completion of a Google form.

The Deadline for initial suggestions is Friday 13 September 2024.

If you have any queries please contact:

Claire Rundström (Secretary to the Honorary Degrees Committee)

Campaigns and Alumni Relations Office

Email: c.e.rundstrom@sheffield.ac.uk


Terms of Reference and Membership of the Honorary Degrees Committee

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