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Top university award for Yorkshire business leader

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Sir Alan Langlands, VC of the University of Leeds, presents Victoria Tomlinson with his Leadership Award for her advisory board chairing

A leading Yorkshire businesswoman has been honoured with a Leadership Award by the University of Leeds for helping to shape a future of award-winning education and ensure student skills are relevant to business.

Victoria Tomlinson, chief executive of Harrogate-based public relations and marketing agency Northern Lights, is chair of the university’s Management Division Advisory Board and leads a group of distinguished international business leaders as they shape courses and research programmes.

The board has been instrumental in helping to create a new generation of students who have the skills, experience and insights needed by the modern workplace and has been steered by Victoria for the past three years.

In handing Victoria the Vice Chancellor’s Leadership Award, the award-winning university praised her enthusiasm, vision and support and said it could not have transformed its educational and research work without her.

Director of Enterprise Learning at the University of Leeds, Professor Nigel Lockett, said: “The Vice-Chancellor’s Leadership Award is in recognition of Victoria’s sustained contribution to the University’s engagement strategy as Chair of the Management Division Advisory Board.

“We could simply not have made such exceptional impact through connecting our research, education and engagement missions without Victoria’s leadership, encouragement and enthusiasm over the last three years.”

Victoria was presented with the award by the Vice Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands at a ceremony at the university.

She says: “The management division has an amazing advisory board with directors from Marks & Spencer, Microsoft, leading local businesses and entrepreneurs operating in the US and China. Many travel great distances to support the university and is testament to what we are trying to achieve.

“My role as chair is all about maximising the employer input to help shape research and courses and to make sure they are relevant and result in jobs for students.”

Victoria is a longstanding advocate for enterprise in universities and has previously served as an Enterprise Ambassador at the University of Leeds. In the last 6 months, the university has won a “triple crown” of enterprise awards, scooping The Duke of York Award for University Entrepreneurship, being named the Entrepreneurial University of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards and winning the Guardian University Entrepreneurship Award for its enterprising approach to supporting students.

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