Professor Sally Mapstone made a Dame of the British Empire (DBE)

sally mapstone 2019

Professor Sally Mapstone has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee year, and made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for her extraordinary services to higher education.

Dame Sally is an Honorary Fellow and alumna of St Cross College, and currently the Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

During her time in Scottish higher education, she has been a key figure behind the development of sector-wide progressive admissions policies to widen access. She was instrumental in the introduction of minimum entry requirements and the guarantee for students with care experience. This contribution to inclusion and equality and to the sector is cited in the honours list.

Sally Mapstone is the greatest living expert on Older Scots, recognised through her appointment as the first female President of the Saltire Society in 2018. As Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education at Oxford from 2011-16 and Deputy-Chair of Council, she led the creation of Oxford’s Strategic Plan for 2013-18. Later appointed as Principal of St Andrew’s, she led the creation of the University Strategy for 2018-23, which resulted in its attainment of first place in The Times Good University Guide for 2022.

She leads on widening access work at Universities Scotland, and her successes include the development of an access guarantee for care-experienced applicants. Outside the UK, she chaired the International Advisory Board for the University of Helsinki and is a trustee of the Europaeum.

Alastair Sim, Director of Universities Scotland, said: "This award is very well deserved and we’re delighted that Sally’s immense achievements at the University of St Andrews and contributions to higher education policy more widely have been recognised in this way."

Before taking up the role of Principal of the University of St Andrews in 2016 her academic career was spent at the University of Oxford, where she read English Language and Literature, gained her doctorate on Older Scots literature, and became Professor of Older Scots Literature in the Faculty of English Language and Literature. Her research deals with literature in Scots and in Latin before 1707, with political literature, and with book history. 

Congratulations, Dame Sally on this high award!