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Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry has congratulated New Years Honours recipients from local universities and further education colleges, including Ulster University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Barnett who was awarded the honour of Knight Bachelor for services to higher education and business.

The Minister said: "I would like to congratulate all the local recipients on their well-deserved Honours.Richard Barnett has provided strong leadership as Vice-Chancellor of Ulster University since April 2006, including stabilising the University’s financial position against a backdrop of economic challenge through his commitment to widening access and participation in higher education. He has served the Ulster University with distinction."

An Ulster University spokesperson added: "This is a well deserved honour which recognises both Professor Barnett's leadership in higher education and his contribution to business and the economyin Northern Ireland. It is a fitting recognition of his tenure as Vice-Chancellor of Ulster University."