Professor Mary Stuart CBE

Mary Stuart CBE, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln

Professor Mary Stuart CBE is Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, UK. She is a graduate of the University of Cape Town, SA, and the Open University, UK, where she obtained her Doctorate in Social Policy in 1998.

Her research interests are focussed on social mobility and higher education, life histories, and civic engagement and leadership in 21st Century organisations.

Mary has a strong track record in all aspects of university leadership, having worked in senior roles in three different universities.  Since joining Lincoln she has developed the University significantly, culminating, this year, in establishing a new Medical School.

Mary has also successfully led the development of Science provision at Lincoln, establishing several research institutes including the Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology and the National Centre for Rural Health and Care, responding to several global challenges.

She has grown Humanities and the Social Sciences at Lincoln, expanding the University from 8,000 students when she joined to just over 15,000 students in 2019, enhancing research provision and driving improvements in research infrastructure and capability. She has driven local and regional engagement as a key theme to enhance the regional economy and to connect the global challenges with local need. 

She has recently worked with the Civic University Commission to develop national policy guidelines on Civic Universities. Mary is the founder of the 21st Century Lab, examining higher education’s response to changing society in our time.

Passionate about the student experience, Mary seeks to continually drive change and improvements in partnership with students, alumni and the academic community, promoting the traditional concept of a community of scholars. Mary was named as The Guardian’s ‘Most Inspiring Leader in Higher Education’ at their HE Awards in 2018.  She was also awarded a CBE for her services to Higher Education in the same year.

National Commitments

Mary was Chair of the UUK Social Mobility Academic Advisory Committee, a past HEFCE Board member and currently a member of the Office for Students – Student Information Advisory Group (SIAG), a Trustee of the Universities Partnership Programme (UPP) Foundation and a Fellow of the Bridge Group.  Mary is also a Commissioner on the National Civic University Commission.

Regional and Community Commitments

Mary is Chair of the Lincoln Cultural and Arts Partnership (LCAP) and the Founding Director of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (GLLEP).  She is a member of the Greater Lincolnshire Leaders Board, Director of Lincoln Science and Innovation Park (LSIP), Director of Lincolnshire Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), Chair of the Members of Lincolnshire Educational Trust (LET) and member of the Lincoln University Technical College (UTC).


21st Century Lab

Contact the Vice Chancellor's Office (VCO):


Vice Chancellor - Professor Mary Stuart

Tel: +44 (0) 1522 886100



VCO Business Manager - Linda Marshall

Tel: +44 (0) 1522 886100