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Open University Milton Keynes professor given royal award

A professor at the Open University in Milton Keynes is to hold a royal title only awarded twice in the past century.

Professor Eileen Scanlon of the educational technology department has been awarded a Regius Professorship in Open Education by the Queen.

The professorships have been awarded traditionally to the older universities of the British Isles.

The Queen has given the professorships to 12 British universities to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

Prof Scanlon said: "I am delighted the Institute of Educational Technology has been recognised.

Recognised excellence

"My late parents were both Open University graduates and my mother celebrated her graduation in the first ceremony held at Alexandra Palace in 1973.

"They would have been thrilled their university was honoured in this way."

Regius Professorships were created in the past when a university chair was founded or endowed by a royal patron.

The title was held by the late historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford, and the 18th Century poet Thomas Gray, who was Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge.

Each appointment is approved by the monarch on ministerial advice.

Twelve professorships in fields of recognised excellence have been awarded to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the universities receiving the honour appoint the person to take the title or seat.

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