Former Scottish health secretary Jeane Freeman OBE has been appointed an honorary professor at Queen Margaret University (QMU). The role will see her contribute to the university’s health projects and will champion female leadership in the health sector and beyond. As part of her work with the School of Health Sciences at QMU, Professor Freeman, will facilitate discussions on pre-registration health care education for the future workforce, to meet the needs of the National Care plan.
The School of Health Sciences at QMU offers the largest range of professional health pre-registration programmes of any university in Scotland and is ranked in the top 20 of UK universities for subjects allied to medicine in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022. The School leads the way in ‘person-centred’ approaches to health that have been led by the Division of Nursing and The Centre for Person-centred Practice Research. Person-centred nursing at QMU is internationally recognised, and has achieved significant outcomes including 100% student satisfaction for the past 3 years.
Professor Freeman has had a long and successful leadership career in the fields of health and social justice, latterly as Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport in the Scottish Government, before stepping down as a candidate for the 2021 election. During her career she has been a senior civil servant and established the social enterprise Apex Scotland to work with employers and ex-offenders. Prior to her election as an MSP in 2016 she chaired the board of the Golden Jubilee Foundation and was a member of the Parole Board for Scotland and the Judicial Appointments Board. She was awarded an OBE for her services to the rehabilitation of offenders in 1996.
Professor Fiona Coutts, Dean of the School of Health Sciences at QMU, said: “The pandemic has brought the critical role of health practice into sharp focus locally, nationally and globally. QMU is already a leader and pioneer in this field of education, and the appointment of Jeane Freeman as honorary professor, an inspiring female leader with key public health experience, is going to bring huge benefits to our education, research and student community.”
Sir Paul Grice, Vice Chancellor and Principal of QMU, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Jeane has been made an honorary professor by our School of Health Sciences. She brings a rare combination of knowledge, experience and leadership and I am looking forward very much to working with her at Queen Margaret University.”
"This appointment is a real honour. I share QMU’s vision for a fairer and healthier society, and these are values that have driven my own career. The University was founded by two women of real influence who campaigned for improved career opportunities for women who were at that point excluded from higher and technical education. QMU continues to promote female leadership to this day, and it will be my privilege to contribute to that work, particularly in the field of health."
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