A recently retired Royal Veterinary College (RVC) vice-principal received an OBE in the New Year Honours.

Elaine Acaster, who retired as vice-principal for strategy and governance last autumn, received the award for services to higher education.  

Initially qualifying as a dietician and then working within the NHS, Mrs Acaster moved into the education sector by taking a lectureship in Glasgow, where she taught nutrition and dietetics.

She became a head of department at Harrow College of Higher Education and had a similar role in Luton before becoming vice-principal and then deputy principal of Westminster College [now Westminster Kingsway College].

From her appointment as assistant principal of the RVC in 2002 and secretary to council in 2005, Mrs Acaster proved an exceptional asset to the RVC, stated the college, adding her stewardship supported its rapid expansion, which has allowed it to meet the challenges of a turbulent higher education environment.

In the period between 2002 and 2013 the RVC’s turnover tripled, while staff and student numbers more than doubled.

RVC principal Stuart Reid said: “I am absolutely delighted for Elaine, her family and for all of us here at RVC.

“I know Elaine is the first to acknowledge the award recognises contributions she could only have made as part of a team.

“The first woman ever to hold a vice-principal position at RVC and now with an OBE, her achievements mark her out as a remarkable individual.”
Mrs Acaster said: “I am delighted to have received this award, which reflects the outstanding contribution made by many remarkable RVC colleagues and collaborators in the higher education sector.”

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