Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, London

University of Birmingham academic Professor James Arthur has been awarded an OBE in the 2018 New Year Honours for services to character and values education.

University alumni Andrew Ready, a leading surgeon, and Sabrina Francis, a community leader, have also been recognised in this year’s Honours. Mr Ready received an MBE, whilst Ms Francis was awarded the British Empire Award Medal (BEM).

Professor of Education and Civic Engagement, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Staffing), and Director and founder of the University’s Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, James Arthur is widely respected as a leading expert in the field of character education.

During his career Professor Arthur has made a significant and sustained contribution to the civic life of the UK, specifically in his charitable works; his contributions to the educational landscape of the city of Birmingham; his inputs into the national policy debate surrounding the role of character in the development of children; and in his achievements as an educator and scholar.

He played a key role in the creation of the University of Birmingham School, which opened in September 2015.
In 2012, Professor Arthur set up the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues to improve the popular understanding of the impact of character and virtues on individuals and society.

He is in significant demand by both think-tanks and policy makers and was a key consultant in Government-level debate on how character could be part of the anti-radicalisation effort in schools. He also directed a major research project on the theme of education, character and citizenship which examined the character development of over 75,000 young people in the UK.

A visiting professor to both UK and international universities, he has written more than 20 books advancing teacher education in a practical way while advising governments on education all over the world.

On receiving news of his OBE Professor Arthur commented: “I am very honoured to be recognised in this New Year’s Honours List. To be awarded an OBE for my work in character education is also an acknowledgement of the incredible team in the Jubilee Centre at the University of Birmingham.”

Andrew Ready completed his medical training at the University of Birmingham and is a consultant renal transplant surgeon at University Hospital Birmingham and Birmingham Children's Hospital, as well as Honorary Consultant Surgeon at Belfast City Hospital.

Mr Ready is also Medical Director and Chairman of Transplant Links (TLC) - an organisation dedicated to supporting renal transplantation in the developing world. In this role, he has led transplant teams to Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Trinidad, Nepal, Jamaica and Kenya.

Sabrina Francis graduated from University of Birmingham in 2006 with a BA in Social Policy. She received the BEM for her work strengthening the community at City, University of London through building strong online communities for students, staff and alumni, as well as her work as a local Councillor within Camden for the Bloomsbury Ward. She also volunteers for Crisis at Christmas – helping to provide meals for homeless people.