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The University of Birmingham is delighted that two long-serving and highly successful members of staff have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, announced today. Professor Michael Sterling, the previous Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham has received a Knighthood, and Gill Ball, the Director of Finance has received an OBE.

· Professor Michael Sterling has received a Knighthood in recognition of his services to higher education, science and engineering, along with his drive and commitment to enhancing the UK’s reputation in these fields. Professor Sterling served as Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Birmingham for 8 years from 2001 to 2009 and before this served as Vice-Chancellor & Principal of Brunel University. He is a former chair of the Russell Group of leading UK universities and currently chairs the Science and Technology Facilities Council. He is an engineer by background and former President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

· Gill Ball is a widely respected figure in both the higher education sector and Accountancy profession. She joined the University of Birmingham as a Technical Accountant in 1985 and rose through the organisation to become Director of Finance, the position she now holds. Gill successfully presides over a business with a turnover of more than £462 million per annum, which is regarded as one of the most financially stable institutions in the UK. Gill is respected as a leader amongst her peers and has served as Global President of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), has spent six years on the Executive Group of the British Universities Finance Directors Group (BUFDG) and has worked closely with the Leadership Foundation supporting training of future leaders of the sector.


For further information and fuller biographies of the two individuals please contact the University of Birmingham Press Office on 07789921165 or email

Notes to Editors

1. The University of Birmingham is a truly vibrant, global community and an internationally-renowned institution. Ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 4,000 international students from nearly 150 countries.

2. The University is home to nearly 30,000 students. With more than 7,500 postgraduate students from across the world, Birmingham is one of the most popular universities for postgraduate study in the UK.

3. The University plays an integral role in the economic, social and cultural growth of local and regional communities; working closely with businesses and organisations, employing approximately 6,000 staff and providing 10,000 graduates annually.