<> Arden reveals honorary doctorates at graduation 2023 | Arden University

Arden reveals honorary doctorates at graduation 2023

Professor Sir Tim Wilson

As part of its Summer 2023 graduation celebrations this week, Arden University is delighted to announce two new honorary doctorates, with Professor Sir Tim Wilson, and Anju Solanki joining our esteemed list of honorary graduates

Known for his expertise in the areas of industrial strategy and policy, innovation, and university-business collaboration, Professor Sir Tim Wilson is a distinguished British academic and economist. 

Having held a number of senior positions in and around academia, his specific focus on the role of innovation and technology in driving economic growth has meant Professor Sir Tim has been a prolific researcher, writer, and influencer throughout his career. For his Services to Universities and to Business he was awarded a Knighthood by the Late Queen Elizabeth II in her 2011 New Years Honours list. 

He is being awarded an Honorary Doctorate this year in recognition for his strong advocacy of the role that higher education makes to our economy and society, alongside his outstanding contribution to the development of Arden University.

This especially includes his three years as Chair of Arden University (2016-19); a transformational period that created the foundations for today’s thriving University.

'When I was contacted about the honorary doctorate, I thought this would be a really nice way of finishing my academic career,’ Professor Sir Tim said.

‘I'm immensely proud of what's been achieved here for the students and immensely proud of the University's growth, its ambition, its innovation, and its imagination. I'm also full of admiration for what Ann Tate and Carl Lygo are doing – they're really building something that's different, something directly relevant to the needs of the university's students.'

Professor Sir Tim Wilson

Our second honorary graduate is Anju Solanki, the Founder of MEA Consulting Group, a thought leading diversity and inclusion consultancy, aimed to create inclusive workplaces where underrepresented groups can thrive. 

Anju has cultivated innovative and thought-provoking training and advisory for some of the world’s leading and aspirational organisations, and her efforts have involved working with charities, schools, and the government. 

Prior to founding MEA, Anju had a successful career in Investment Banking for 12 years, working at Citigroup, Barclays and Lloyds building a commendable track record on the trading floor, and creating a network of international clients. 

Having experienced the invisible barriers that underrepresented groups face first hand, she became immensely passionate about driving change for the future generations, so they can enter workplaces which value their individual differences. Throughout her career, she has helped to create world leading diversity, equity, inclusion experiences using virtual reality, which have since been rolled out to the NHS and other leading establishments. 

‘Today’s graduation is a really, really special occasion,’ said Anju ‘It is a surprise to be recognised for my work. When you work for yourself, you don't really get a pat on the back for what you do, so to have a university like Arden – that represents the underrepresented – recognise my work is breath-taking.'

Anju Solanki
Anju Solanki on stage

'The final year of university is where my real ambition and drive began, but when I got onto the trading floor, I realised how different I was to everybody else. My colleagues had grown up skiing, playing golf, and travelling on exotic holidays to countries I’d barely even heard of. I realised then how different my life was to theirs.'

'But the world is changing. People, companies, and organisations are hungry for diversity of thought and perspective. So as students at Arden, I think you are the future. I think it's an exciting time to be underrepresented. Because at some point in the future, I can see that changing.'

For students today: you've got more opportunities today than there were yesterday, and there'll be more in the future. Feel excited for that, wherever you are in your journey. Your diversity is what the world needs, and it's what organisations are seeking.’