Professor Karen Stanton
Karen was born in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire and was the first person in her family to go to university. She read for her first degree in History at the University of Sheffield and holds Postgraduate qualifications from the University of Sheffield and Manchester Metropolitan University. Before beginning her academic career, she worked as a researcher for the BBC and the Home Office.
Professor Stanton’s distinguished career within Higher Education includes being the Vice-Chancellor of both York St John University and Solent University, Southampton. She has also held senior leadership roles at the universities of Birmingham, Nottingham, King’s College London, and Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).
Karen has an outstanding record of international achievements having set up University campuses in New York, Oman and a College of Nursing and Midwifery in Bangladesh. In 2014 she led the team from Glasgow Caledonian that won the Unilever Global Development Award in recognition of their work to reduce inequalities and poverty in Bangladesh.
Professor Stanton has a strong national profile and reputation for her work on the role of universities in the community and regional economy. This has included work with the UN Global Compact and supporting the Nobel Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus to bring the microlending Grameen Bank to Scotland. Whilst at King’s she was Director of the Centre for Digital Humanities and at GCU she established the Centre for Climate Justice in association with Mary Robinson. At Solent she established Research Centres in Marine Sustainability and Autonomous Surface Shipping.
She is a previous Chair of the Cathedrals Group of Universities, Deputy Chair of GuildHE and a former Trustee of UCAS and the United Nations International Services. She is currently a Governor of both Corndel College London and the University of the Arts, London.
Professor Stanton is a Fellow of the RSA and a Champion of the Chartered Management Institute. She also supports sustainable businesses through her work with the Social Enterprise Accreditation Mark. She is a Patron of the Island Charity which provides a safe space for vulnerable children and young people.
In the summer of 2023, she was awarded both an Emeritus Vice Chancellorship and a Honorary Doctorate from Solent University. Professor Stanton is regularly invited to give keynote lectures at conferences on both the future of technology in Higer Education and on how Universities can expand their international portfolios.
Over her 25 year career in Higher Education Karen has dedicated herself to working with her teams to provide students with a transformational education experience and to widening participation to Higher Education.