It comes after a busy year, where Stern pushed for legislation and reform in UK universities, directly at the helm of a “positive impact” on the sector.
In particular in 2021, she led lobbying for implementation of the post-Brexit Turing Scheme on the government – telling them to “sit up and take it seriously enough”.
“In this, as so often is the case, I have the privilege of being the public face of a huge collective effort,” Stern told The PIE News.
“Working with multiple government departments and an outstanding set of colleagues in UUKi, I believe that we have really changed the way the UK as a whole is set up to welcome international students,” Stern continued.
The UK government said upon the announcement that Stern can “take credit” for the significant expansion of the numbers of students choosing the UK as a study destination, “thus significantly increasing the value of education exports”.
Her “vocal enthusiastic” championship for the UK was also noted, as she regularly speaks at public and “Government-to-Government” events promoting the UK internationally, “providing a welcoming message to overseas students considering coming to the UK to study”.
“I know that it has made a difference at a national as well as an individual level, but that is very far from being due to my contribution alone. I am very fortunate to work with a lot of very dedicated, smart and principled people,” Stern added.
Universities UK’s outgoing chief executive, Alistair Jarvis, was awarded a CBE in the Honours list.
“I am delighted, and it is humbling, to be honoured with a CBE for services to higher education,” Jarvis said upon the announcement of the list.
“It is a privilege to support and promote our universities which deliver such a positive impact for individuals, communities and the UK,” he added.
Stern also won the Outstanding Contribution to the Industry award at the PIEoneer awards in September.
“It is a genuine privilege to represent our outstanding universities in the UK,” she said at the time.
“I also take it as endorsement of the work of the fabulous team and UUKi.”
“In this, as so often is the case, I have the privilege of being the public face of a huge collective effort”
Looking ahead, Stern told The PIE that UUKi is starting as it means to go on.
“From changes to visa policy; to accurate, timely reassuring communications; to measures to support international students in partnership, I feel that there is now a government and sector partnership working effectively to support the interests of international students, in recognition of their importance to universities and the UK as a whole,” Stern said.
“It is a great way to start the new year, and I will work to continue to earn the recognition I have received.”