Discover how Joan Stringer went from a part time lecturer at Sudbury Open Prison in Derbyshire, to the first woman leader of a Scottish university in 2003 and then a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2009.
Read on for a short biography of Professor Dame Joan Stringer.
Dame Joan Stringers Early Years
Dame Joan Stringer was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1948 and after leaving school initially pursued a career in graphic design. At the age of 24 Joan Stringer realised that she still harboured unfulfilled educational goals and enrolled at Keele University to study a BA in history and politics. Upon graduating, Joan Stringer took up a part time lecturer at Sudbury Open Prison in Derbyshire. It was during this time that Dame Joan realised the unique effect education could have on people, especially those who had lost their way. The experience had a massive effect on Dame Joans future career path and the lives of the many prisoners she taught.
Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen
Dame Joans full-time academic career began in earnest at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen in 1980 when she was appointed a lecturer in public administration. In 1986, she completed her PHD which investigated the efficiency of Britains industrial training policy. At Robert Gordon University she rose quickly through the ranks and in 1988 she was promoted to become Head of the School of Public Administration and Law. This promotion was closely followed by another in 1991 when Dame Joan became Assistant Principal of the university. Dame Joans time at Robert Gordon was a resounding success and amongst her many achievements she was heavily involved in the process which saw Robert Gordons gain full university status in 1992.
Queen Margaret University College
Upon leaving Robert Gordon University, Dame Joan joined Queen Margaret College in 1996 as Principal and Vice-Patron. She went about transforming the college and oversaw an increase in students from 2,500 to 3,800 and also secured research degree awarding status for the college in 1998. However, Dame Joan didnt rest on her laurels and in 1999 she finalised a deal for the new campus development at Craighall and also secured the award of University College status.
Edinburgh Napier University
In January 2003 Dame Joan was appointed Principal and Vice Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University and in doing so became the first woman to head a Scottish University. During her time at Napier University, Dame Joan has helped the university become more financially independent, overseen multi million pound redevelopments of the Craiglockhart and Sighthill campuses and seen the university be voted the best for graduate employability by The Times and The Guardian.