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Professor to receive Open University honour

A University of St Andrews Professor is to receive an honorary degree from The Open University.

Professor John Howie, Professor Emeritus in Mathematics, is to receive a Doctor of the University (D.Univ.) at a ceremony in Edinburgh next month.

Professor Howie was appointed to the Regius Chair of Mathematics in 1970 and held that post until his retirement in 1997. In 1982, he was awarded the Keith Prize of the Royal Society of Edinburgh for his work in semigroup theory, a subject concerned with the study of irreversible operations and processes.

During his time at the University, Professor Howie had an active interest in secondary education in Scotland. In the 1970s, he served on the Dunning Committee, whose recommendations led to the introduction of Standard Grades. Then, from 1990 to 1992, he chaired a committee appointed by the Secretary of State to investigate the post-compulsory (16-18) phase of secondary education. The Howie Report (Upper Secondary Education in Scotland) recommended the introduction of a continental- style baccalaureate and, although this proved too radical for the government of the day, the analysis in the Report provided much of the motivation for its own initiative in the introduction of “Higher Still”. For “services to education”, Professor Howie was awarded a C.B.E. in 1993./

Professor Howie was Chairman of the Board of Governors of Dundee College of Education from 1983 to 1987, and has been a governor of the Northern College (Aberdeen and Dundee) since its creation in 1987. He also held numerous high- profile positions within mathematics circles, having chaired the Scottish Mathematical Council from 1987 until 1993 and convened the Mathematics Panel of the Scottish Examination Board from 1970 to 1973.

Professor Howie said, ” I am quite delighted by this completely unexpected honour. I have a huge admiration for the way in which the Open University has widened access to higher education, and I am excited to think that I will soon be one of its graduates”.

Aside from academic interests, Professor Howie is well known in St Andrews as a musician and has been Organist and Choir Director at Hope Park Church since 1978.

Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07887 650072 or email cg24@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: howie/standrews/chg/4april2000/ PR1921

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