MBE Birthday Honour for Heather

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19 June 2023

Heather speaking at a conference in South Africa

Bangor woman Heather Miller, lately Head of Quality, Excellence and Development at South Eastern Regional College (SERC), has been honoured with an MBE for Services to Education in Northern Ireland in the first Birthday Honours of King Charles III.

Heather, who was educated at Glenlola Collegiate, commenced her work with the College as a lecturer in Tourism and Business at North Down & Ards and Lisburn Colleges over 30 years ago.  

The focus of her teaching and career was in the development of higher education including degree provision and professional qualifications. She was part of the team that developed the first full time BA Business Degree from the University of Sheffield which was fully delivered in a college of further education. Heather continued to introduce and develop Foundation Degrees with Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University and Liverpool John Moores University and a range of professional qualifications, to meet changing economic and student needs through further education provision. 

Following the merger of North Down and Ards, East Down and Lisburn Colleges to form SERC in 2007, Heather was appointed Head of Quality, Excellence and Development. She was a reviewer for the Quality Assurance Agency and an Associate Assessor for the Education and Training Inspectorate. 

Heather retired from SERC in 2021 but returned to work with the College’s International team and British Council as a Consultant. She led on the development of an educational quality improvement system for the South African government across its vocational education sector, and is currently working with the Moroccan government, SERC, and British Council on quality improvement.

Heather is a Department for the Economy appointed governor in 2019 and currently the Vice-Chair of Governing Body of Stranmillis University College.

Speaking about the Award Heather said, “I was amazed to be given this award for my contribution to the further education sector. My whole career relied on the support and goodwill of my colleagues, who dedicated themselves to providing opportunities for the development of their students. I am grateful to all of them for this kindness."

She added, “Further and higher education has proved a very rewarding career, and I have been privileged to spend over 30 years watching students achieve their dreams, gaining valuable qualifications and skills to contribute to life.”

Heather is married to Geoffrey and has one son, Patrick and daughter-in-law, Naomi.

Congratulations to Heather Miller MBE.