Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson, UCML Executive Committee Representative for Classical Studies and Associate Professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Durham, has been made an MBE by King Charles III for Services to Education in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours.

Reacting to the news, Dr Holmes-Henderson said, ‘Promoting access to the study of languages in UK schools, colleges and universities is at the heart of my work. This MBE recognises my pro bono contributions to charities and organisations, such as UCML, The British Council and the Classical Association, which achieve great things when we work together. I will continue to advocate for collaboration across the UK’s four nations to improve languages policy and practice at all levels.’

The honour recognises Dr Holmes-Henderson’s work to make Classics more widely available in schools, and to attract pupils with a broader range of backgrounds into the discipline. As well as her position on our Executive Committee, Dr Holmes-Henderson is Vice-Chair of the Universities Policy Engagement Network (UPEN) which brings together 120+ UK universities and policy professionals to increase the impact of research on public policy. She is also an expert advisor to the All-Party Parliamentary group for Political Literacy and to the Oracy All-Party Parliamentary group.

Professor Emma Cayley, Chair of UCML said, ‘Arlene is the first Executive Committee member representing Classical Studies and was elected in recognition of her strategic advocacy work across the languages sector, and our commitment at UCML to advocate for the study of all languages, societies and cultures including ancient ones. We are absolutely delighted for Arlene and congratulate her on this well-deserved honour and recognition of her incredibly important work to widen participation in Classical Studies across the UK.’

A press release from Durham University can be found here.

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