Image of the gates of Liverpool Cathedral

Dr John Cater CBE

Oration

Presented by Sir John Murphy

Honourable Chancellor, Pro-Chancellor, I have pleasure in presenting Dr John Cater for the award of an Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University.

John is the Vice Chancellor of Edge Hill University in Ormskirk. Appointed in 1993, he is the longest serving head of any UK education institution.

He has transformed Edge Hill University from a college faced with closure to a thriving university campus acclaimed for high levels of student satisfaction and enhancement of social mobility. Through 20 plus years of exceptional leadership, it has become a diverse university teaching 16,000 students, financially the best-performing full university in the country, and undertaking world-leading research. His vision of education as a force for social good has benefited thousands of students and had immeasurable impact on the national workforce, particularly in the public sector.

Completing a degree in Geography in 1974 at the University of Wales, he joined Liverpool Polytechnic as a Research Assistant, before holding Lecturer and Research Fellow posts.

As a social geographer, he has published extensively on race, housing, economic development and public policy and co-authored major research studies for the Social Science Research Council, the Commission for Racial Equality and their successor bodies. 

He has been a Director of the Higher Education Careers Service since 1994 and was Chair of Liverpool: City of Learning from 2003-2005. He was a Director of the Teacher Training Agency and its successor body, the Training and Development Agency for Schools. 

He is also the Chair of UUK’s Teacher Education Advisory Group. He was a member of Department of Health’s Expert Advisory Panel on Nurse Education and Training and has sat on Universities UK’s Health and Social Care Committee since 2004. He also represents all Vice-Chancellors on the Joint DH/DfE Social Work Reform Board.

Dr Cater has played an integral role to the success of Edge Hill University. Under his inspiring leadership, he has overseen the University’s development over the last two decades.

His dedication to higher education and teacher training led to him being appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List. 

John continues to steer the University in the right direction, with “excellent and strategic leadership” and leads by example remaining true to his personal commitment to the transformational power of education.

Thus, it is with great pleasure that I present Dr John Cater, alumnus of our institution, for admission to our highest honour, as an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University.