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Honorary Award recipients

Since 1966 the University of Bradford has awarded Honorary Degrees and Outstanding Contribution Awards to:

  • outstanding individuals in recognition of their academic work and endeavour,
  • their contribution to their chosen profession or field of activity,
  • their contribution to the University, City or wider region,
  • their ability to act as a role model reflecting the University’s values.

Nominations for honorary degrees and fellowships can be submitted at any time and are considered by the University Honorary Awards Committee twice each year.

Our most recent Honorary Award recipients

Peter Steele

Peter was a 2023 recipient of an Outstanding Contribution Award in recognition of their significant contribution to excellence and inclusion within education and the community.

Peter Steele was Headteacher at Princeville Primary School, Bradford from 1982 to 2006. He worked with and delivered seminars for the following organisations: Becta, BETT, DfES Innovation Unit, Education Bradford, Local Authority, National College for School Leaders (SLICT), and The Specialist Schools & Academies Trust. Peter has also gained national recognition for the implementation of ICT receiving a number of awards.  

As a school leader he has always tried to ensure a child centred approach to learning, which placed the school at the heart of the community. In 1982 the school was described by HMI as “one of the most under resourced ever visited.” By the early 2000’s it was transformed thanks to Peter’s tireless efforts, was instead described by OFSTED as “a school in and urban setting with the feel of a village community.”  

Peter always tried to ensure the school reflected the needs of its community and implemented initiatives such as being one of the first schools in Bradford to close for festivals such as Eid and Diwali. The technology included ICT as well as CCTV which became a major strand in enabling child protection and safeguarding.  

Find out more about Peter.

Peter Steele, Outstanding Contribution Award 2023

Shaukat Abu Saeed Ahmed MBE

Shaukat became Doctor of the University in 2023 in recognition of their significant commitment to the community of Bradford and the University.

Shaukat Ahmed MBE is a British politician, engineer, entrepreneur and a prominent voluntary sector organiser and community leader in the Bradford district. Also known as ‘Mr Manningham’, Shaukat has dedicated his career to improving housing conditions, economic prosperity, youth involvement and educational development of some of the most deprived communities of Bradford.  

Shaukat was a founding member of the Bangladeshi Youth Organisation in 1982, a pioneering organisation created to support early South Asian migrants in inner-city Bradford. He was also a founding member of the Manningham Housing Association, and a founding Director and Chair of a community enterprise called Action for Business Ltd, which owns and runs Carlisle Business Centre. The centre provides a warm, friendly, and well-maintained workspace for starter businesses to flourish, of which an estimated 30% of tenants are under 30, contributing to the entrepreneurship of the city.  

Shaukat was a Bradford City Councillor and Chair of School Buildings Committee. He was instrumental in building the first purpose built new upper school in the inner-city (Manningham) in 80 years. He is also a cultural activist promoting understanding and co-operation between people of various cultural heritages and faith groups, through music, songs, and poetry. 

Shaukat was recognised for his work for the communities in Bradford in 2008 when he was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. 

Find out more about Shaukat.

Shaukat Ahmed MBE, Doctor of the University 2023

Professor Oshita Osang Oshita

Oshita became Doctor of the University in 2023 in recognition of their significant contribution to international peace studies and his support in developing links with the University of Bradford.

Professor Oshita Osang Oshita is the Executive Director of Ubuntu Centre for Africa Peacebuilding and Development (UCAP), an NGO incorporated in 2018 after his tenure as Director General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Abuja. He is a Chevening Scholar with academic qualifications in Philosophy, Environmental Education and Peace and Conflict Studies. He was a Member of the House of Representatives during Nigeria’s Third Republic (1992-1993).  

Oshita coordinated Nigeria’s first Strategic Conflict Assessment (SCA) in 2002, supported by the UNDP, World Bank, USAID and DfID. He holds the Bachelor of Art degree in Philosophy (2nd Upper) of the University of Calabar (Nigeria), MA and Ph.D in Philosophy from the University of Ibadan (Nigeria). He graduated at Bradford with the MA in Peace and Conflict Studies (Merit) in 2004. Oshita was a 2003 distinguished delegate of the Model United Nations in New York, USA. 

Oshita was one of the African Union Commission (AUC) Consultants that designed the Strategy for the Reconstruction, Stabilization and Resilience of the terrorism-ravaged Lake Chad Basin. he founded the first Peacebuilding radio in Nigeria, Ubuntu Peacebuilding Radio, 88.3fm, Ogoja.   

Oshita is a Study Group Coordinator at the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS), Abuja. He is fellow of the Society of Peace Studies and Practice (fspsp), the Institute for Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ficmc), and Philosophers Association of Nigeria (fpan). He is published and has taught in different Universities, including the University of Bayreuth, Germany.  

Find out more about Oshita.

Prof. Oshita Oshita, Doctor of the University 2023

Dame Clare Moriarty DCB

Clare became Doctor of the University in 2023 in recognition of their outstanding career which you have dedicated to making a difference to underserved and underrepresented communities.

Dame Clare Moriarty DCB is Chief Executive of Citizens Advice and leads the national charity and network of local Citizens Advice charities across England & Wales. With a commitment to social justice, Citizens Advice gives individuals the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward and advocates on their behalf to bring about wider change.  

Clare was previously a civil servant for nearly 35 years, latterly as Permanent Secretary of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2015 to 2019, and of the Department for Exiting the EU until its closure in January 2020. She was the first Permanent Secretary Champion for Faith and Belief and was also Civil Service Local champion for Yorkshire, Humber and the North East. She is recognised for her work on diversity and inclusion and has spoken extensively on leadership, in particular the importance of valuing emotion and creating space for difference.  

Before joining Citizens Advice, Clare chaired the Health Foundation’s Covid-19 impact inquiry and worked with organisations including Transport for London and the Bank of England. She is a trustee of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the History of Parliament Trust, senior independent member of the Westminster Abbey Strategic Board and chairs the South Downs Partnership. Clare was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 2020 Birthday Honours. 

Find out more about Clare.

Dame Clare Moriarty DCB, Doctor of the University

Nick Toczek

Nick received an Outstanding Contribution Award in recognition of his long standing and diverse career within Bradford’s arts and culture sector as a poet, musician, writer, performer and journalist. 

Nick Toczek was born and raised in Shipley and has been a full-time professional writer and performer since graduating from The University of Birmingham in 1971 with a BSc in Industrial Metallurgy. 

During the 1970s, he had eight books and pamphlets published. founded, edited, and published two poetry magazines, co-founded and ran Moseley Community Arts Festival, toured the UK with his Stereo Graffiti Show, co-edited and published Melanthika, Britain's first anthology of pan-Caribbean writing and, after moving back to Bradford, co-founded the punk band Ulterior Motives and the seminal fanzine The Wool City Rocker. 

During the early 1980s, he ran hundreds of weekly punk and indie rock gigs. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he and Bradford rock legend, Wild Willi Beckett, co-ran hundreds of alternative cabaret gigs. 

As a writer-in-school, he's worked with pupils from over 5,000 schools throughout Britain and in dozens of countries worldwide. He's now published more than sixty books and has released twenty albums of songs and/or performance poetry. He currently runs and hosts two monthly performance poetry events, one in Halifax, the other in Greater Manchester.  

For 25 years, he presented his own weekly show on BCB Radio. He's long been a columnist, reviewer, and features writer for the UK music mag, RnR. Oh, and he's also a professional magician and puppeteer. 

Find out more about Nick.

Nick Toczek, Outstanding Contribution Award

Rukeya Miah BEM

Ruyeka received an Outstanding Contribution Award in 2023 in recognition of her outstanding career as an award-winning Midwife and advocate for equality and inclusion within healthcare and leadership.

Rukeya Miah has almost 30 years’ of experience and learning, and with a lifelong passion for nursing and midwifery, this has led to a varied career. She first qualified as a nurse in 1994, working in surgery and intensive care at Airedale General Hospital. In 2000, her longstanding passion for midwifery led to her beginning an 18-month BSc in Midwifery Studies (2003) to achieve dual-registration as both a nurse and midwife which she completed at the University of Bradford, before completing an MSc in Midwifery with the University in 2011 and an Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy and an MSc in NHS Senior Leadership  in 2017 at the University of Birmingham. 

Rukeya is currently the Head of Midwifery, Family and Women’s Health Group at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. She is also passionate about reducing health inequalities and supporting staff development. This is reflected in her other roles including being the North East & Yorkshire Regional Lead for the Chief Nursing Officer’s BME Strategic Advisory Group (First Midwife to be appointed to this role), the Yorkshire & Humber co-chair of the Oversight Steering Group for Saving Babies Lives, and co-chair of the North Yorkshire & Humber Maternity Equality and Equity Group. 

Find out more about Rukeya.

Rukeya Miah BEM, Outstanding Contribution Award 2023

Mark O’Herlihy

Mark became a Doctor of Health in 2023 in recognition of demonstrating significant achievement in the field of radiography and commitment to education.

Mark O’Herlihy has over 30 years’ experience in healthcare, initially qualifying as a Radiographer. He completed postgraduate qualifications in Radiology Image Interpretation at both the University of Hatfield and the University of Bradford, aswell as a postgraduate qualification in Health Research from the University of Leeds. He was one of the first reporting radiographers and advanced radiographer practitioners in the UK, focussing on improving digital education amongst healthcare professionals. 

Mark has held clinical, research and leadership roles in multiple NHS Organisations in London & Leeds and has held global leadership roles in the top companies in the world, namely IBM & Lexmark. At these and many other organisations, he has been the driving force behind adoption of new innovative healthcare & life sciences technologies to benefit healthcare delivery for patients all over the world. Mark is defined by his passion to improve patient outcomes via innovation in healthcare, he led IBM Watson Health across Europe, Middle East & Africa, bringing AI, innovation and education to countries and governments in Oncology, Genomics, Imaging, Life Sciences & Population Health. 

Currently, Mark is an executive member of the board at Circle Health Group, the largest UK Independent Sector healthcare provider, where he leads on healthcare innovation and outcomes with a focus on healthcare delivery and patient experience. In his role as Vice Chair on the advisory board of HIMSS, a global not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving healthcare in quality, safety, cost-effectiveness and access, Mark advises both commercial and non-profit organisations to ensure patient satisfaction and experience remains a key focus in the industry.

Find out more about Mark.

Mark O'Herlihy, Doctor of Health 2023