Birthday List honour for University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor
01 June 2022
Professor Parveen Yaqoob has spoken of her joy and gratitude after being appointed OBE – Officer of the Order of the British Empire – in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Professor Yaqoob, who is Deputy Vice-Chancellor and joint Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Reading, receives the honour for services to higher education.
She said: “I am overwhelmed to be recognised for a job that means so much to me.
“I grew up in a culture that actively discouraged education for girls, so I was really lucky to get the chance to go to university. Higher education has given me opportunities that I could never have imagined, and so to pay that back in some small way means the world to me.
“I have been at Reading for 24 years now and I have worked with some amazingly talented and generous people. I would like to thank them for all the support that they have given me over the years. This could not have happened without them.”
Professor Robert Van de Noort, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: “I would like to offer Parveen my heartfelt congratulations on the news of her appointment to OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. I could not be more pleased to hear that she has been honoured for her work.
“We are extremely lucky at Reading to have such a committed and distinguished academic and leader who applies her sound judgement and hard work to everything she does."
Professor Yaqoob is a distinguished academic, leader and champion of equality and diversity in higher education. She is the first female Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, and is a progressive example of positive working behaviour, living by the ethos ‘be the change you want to see’. She provides leadership on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) issues across the University of Reading and Higher Education sector more broadly.
She is the inaugural Chair of the national Athena Swan Governance Committee overseeing transformation of the charter for gender equality. She supported Reading’s successful application for an institutional Athena Swan Silver Award, and co-led the University’s Race Equality Review, resulting in 20 recommendations to change practices and culture.
She directed the University’s complex response to COVID-19. This included overseeing all measures to keep students and staff safe, while also overseeing collaboration with the NHS and other services.
Professor Yaqoob joined the University of Reading in 1998 as a lecturer in human nutrition. She was promoted to professor in 2010, became head of the School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy in 2015, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor in 2018, taking on the additional role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor in 2020.
She continues to work as a highly-regarded scientist and active researcher in the field of human nutrition, working on the influence of nutrition on immunity, inflammation and vascular function.