New College Durham Principal

New College Durham Logo

New College Durham Principal

New College Durham Principal


John Widdowson CBE

Principal and Chief Executive, New College Durham


John Widdowson began his career as a lawyer, but has worked in further and higher education for over 30 years, the last nineteen of which as Principal of New College Durham. The College was graded ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2009, and is lead sponsor for two academies in County Durham. In 2011, the college became one of the first two nationally to be granted foundation degree awarding powers by the Privy Council. John is Chair of the Mixed Economy Group of Colleges, and was President for the Association of Colleges from August 2015 to July 2016.

John has published papers and articles on a range of education subjects, and has spoken regularly at national and international conferences, focusing in recent years on the challenges of widening participation in higher education, and developing college-based higher education.

John was appointed CBE in June 2010 for services to further and higher education.

Wednesday 29 November 2017 10:45 − 11:45
Wednesday 29 November 2017 13:45 − 14:45

Principal Awarded CBE


New College Durham’s Principal is Awarded CBE
John Widdowson, Principal and Chief Executive of New College Durham, has been awarded a CBE for his Services to Local and National Further and Higher Education.

Mr Widdowson was awarded the CBE in June 2010 and was presented the award at Buckingham Palace by Prince Charles on Friday 17 December.

Nationally, Mr Widdowson is Chair of the Mixed Economy Group of colleges, as well as being a Board Member of the Association of Colleges and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Mr. Widdowson said: “It was an honour and privilege to be chosen for this award. The education of our young people and adults remains one of the most important factors helping to shape and define our future. This award reflects the efforts of the staff and students of the college. I am proud to lead New College Durham as we face the challenges to come”

Before joining the college in August 1998, John began his career as a lawyer in local government after which he held a series of teaching posts in Derbyshire and East Anglia. He was Vice Principal at Cambridge Regional College and has since become Chair of Aim Higher County Durham, part of the national Aim Higher network which exists to encourage greater participation in Higher Education.

Useful contacts

International Office at New College Durham

Location: Room N213 at Neville Building
Office Hours: 8.30am to 5.00pm (Monday to Friday)
Telephone: +44 191 375 4151

Please click here for further useful contacts relating to Durham and applying for your Visa.