The Queen, presumably extremely bored with having nothing to do all day, has decided to mix things up for her 90th birthday party. She’s set to invite UK universities to compete for 12 Regius Professorships, rare, grand-sounding academic honours, which are awarded to any disciplines judged to be excelling in terms of research and growth.
The first such honour went to the University of Aberdeen for its work in the field of medicine, way back in 1497, and before 2012, only a number of the ‘ancient’ UK universities were eligible for the award. A grand total of two were granted in the 20th Century, but the Queen created 12 for her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Glasgow University is the current holder of the most extant Regius chairs, with an impressive 13 to its name. The University of Life is still stuck on nil.
"The UK's exceptional research and innovation capability is crucial to powering our economy and improving millions of lives,” said Universities Minister Jo Johnson. “These new Regius Professorships will recognise the academic excellence and real-world impact of university research across the country." Events to mark the Queen's 90th will take place from 10-12 June next year.