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Curson, Steven: Dr

  • Person

Dr Steven Curson was made an Honorary Fellow of the University in 2006.

Dr Steven Curson is an educational innovator, trainer and communicator on health issues.

Steven was born and raised in North London. His parents met during the war, and his mother was a German Jewish Refugee and his father what is sometimes called an autodidact; a self-educated man who remarkably trained as a dentist, despite impoverished circumstances, and eventually became Professor of Dentistry at King's College.

Stephen himself went to William Ellis School in Parliament Hill Fields, founded in the nineteenth century to teach 'useful' subjects; as they were described by the founder, such as science and remarkably social science and to develop the faculty of reason; an approach very different from many other schools of the time. From William Ellis School, Steven gained admission to Cambridge to read medicine and it was there that he met his wife, Ruth, herself a medical student and now a distinguished gynaecologist.

From the outset, however, Steven was set to become a general practitioner rather than a hospital-based doctor. He attributes this to an early experience when, as a child in some distress, his local GP came out at night and, as he puts it, cured him.

After the usual period of training in hospital, Steven then joined a practice at Walworth Road which was led by two remarkable GPs, John McEwan and John Hewitson. It is widely acknowledged that this was a path-breaking practice, taking the best of the NHS into some of the most disadvantaged communities. It is fair to say that this was not just a medical practice but a group of people sharing a philosophy about social justice. John Hewitson himself was politically an anarchist linked, we believe, to the Freedom Press. The practice gained a reputation for its outreach work holding regular surgeries, for example, in the homeless centres in the Spike and Guildford Street, and worked closely with hospitals such as Guys and St Thomas.

It was possibly helpful, but not necessarily decisive, that it transpired at interview that one of the partners in the practice came from the same small town in Germany as his mother. But Steven, true to his vocation, stayed in the practice which became the Princess Street Group Practice for the rest of his career.

Being a GP would have been a sufficiently demanding career in itself, but from very early on, Steven became involved in education and training of others. In the early 1970s, staff at King's College London, including David Morrell, solicited the support of four local practices to establish what is now the Department of General Practice and Primary Care at King's. Steven was involved in this from the outset and became the first GP in South London, perhaps in London more generally, to take undergraduate students into the practice for training. He subsequently became course director for postgraduate training at St Thomas and has remained a passionate believer in continuous professional training and development. This was the hallmark of his own practice and a characteristic of his leadership, at all functions and levels.

He has always been a strong communicator and it was early in his career that he embarked on a parallel course, as a media doctor. Every Tuesday afternoon all his patients could tune in to LBC to hear their Dr Curson giving advice on all sorts of different medical ailments. Apart from radio he also worked for the prominent health and wellbeing magazine, Top Sante, published in the UK and France, in a similar vein.

For many years, the idea of primary care was most definitely secondary in health, but there were those who saw the future more clearly. In the 1980s, Steven and a few enlightened local GPs got together with others to champion the idea of a local GP-run hospital. Designed by Edward Cullinan Architects, a practice opened in 1985 in the Lambeth Community Care Centre in Monkton Street. It is located in a quiet 19th century back street overlooking its own beautiful garden. It was designed to accommodate short-stay patients cared for by in-house nurses, therapists and their own GP, and was an innovation in the attempt to provide medical treatment to patients in a home style environment.

It has been widely reported in the medical press and was singled out in the Tomlinson report as a model for Community Health Services in London. This was the epitome of primary care in practice; a path-breaking development which anticipated current thinking and policy. The provision of health is changing and whereas 35 years ago, pride of place and indeed resourcing was given to acute and general hospitals, today we see a major shift towards primary care, towards preventative medicine and indeed the whole notion of wellbeing. Steven Curson was clearly a pioneer in the way he anticipated the role and significance of community-based health provision.

In his long career, Steven became involved in all sorts of health management and policy for the Health Authority, visiting practices and local GPs and mentoring GPs. He was chair of the North Southwark PCG and on the Professional executive (PEC) for the Southwark PCT. He also worked for the PCT as one of their appraisers.

Over the years, Steven also provided support for many students and staff at London South Bank University who have been patients at the practice.

He formally retired after 35 years and there is little doubt that he will maintain his passion for education and training. Dr Steven Curson was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of London South Bank University for his services and leadership in health education, his passionate advocacy of professional training, and for his devotion to the provision of health for patients in the community.

Daugherty, William

  • Person
  • c1987

In 1987, William Daugherty was a graduate student of Political Science at Columbia University.

David, Miriam; Professor

  • Person
  • August 1945-

Professor Miriam David has a BA (Hons), Sociology from the University of Leeds 1966;, and a PhD from the University of London 1975.

Davies, Graeme; Sir

  • Person
  • 1937-

Sir Graeme Davies is the former Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of London. He is an engineer, educator and policy maker of distinction.

Graeme was born in New Zealand and educated at Mount Alber Grammar School, Auckland and the University of Auckland where he read Aeronautical Engineering, and then materials science for his PhD. He has described materials science as a multi-faceted discipline involving Maths, Physics, Chemistry and also new areas such as Crystallography, all of which taught him to think broadly, absorb multiple inputs and synthesise them – experience invaluable in higher education management.

He wasn't just a bright engineer. While studying hard for his first in finals, he also got a New Zealand Universities "Blue" for football. He has always been a very keen follower of sport and has been prudent in his roots – a highly appropriate mixture of Scottish and Welsh as well as New Zealand.

In 1962, he arrived in the UK to undertake research in metallurgy and materials science at Cambridge. He then took up a lectureship and a Fellowship at St Catherine's College, which he held for 13 years before being appointed to a chair in the University of Sheffield. Nine years later in 1986, he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool a post he held until 1991 when he took a rather different shift in career to become Chief Executive of the Universities Funding Council.

A year later, as a result of the Education Act of 1992, the two sectors in higher education, polytechnics and universities merged and Sir Graeme was the first chief executive of the new joint funding council, the Higher Education Funding Council. HEFCE had to deal with major issues of transitional funding given the very different arrangements in the two sectors. He gained the reputation of being thoroughly professional but supportive, firm but diplomatic, and totally reassuring.

Sir Graeme then launched a range of new initiatives for the Funding Council, from teaching to research, and with his strong international background encouraged the sector to understand and prepare itself for the globalisation of developing higher education.

After four successful years in the post, Sir Graeme returned to mainstream university management when he accepted the post of Principal and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Glasgow. During his tenure, there were momentous political changes in Scotland, symbolised by the establishment of the Scottish Parliament and the higher education system which was entering uncertain territory. Again his diplomatic skills were invaluable and he helped forge a new approach to partnership and engagement to meet the new challenges.

Sir Graeme acquired a campus for Glasgow at Crichton in Dumfries, the first ever venture by the university outside the city environs and he merged with a local Catholic teacher training. He developed a research partnership with the neighbouring Strathclyde University, the Synergy agreement, thus reversing decades of what might be called tension between the two and oversaw a successful joint bid with Edinburgh University to win the UK National e-Science Centre. He also spearheaded the development of a number of major biomedical buildings, one of which is now named after him. He also successfully related the university to its city and region, through such activities as his membership of the Board of Scottish Enterprise Glasgow and Chairman of the Glasgow Science Centre and his membership of Glasgow School of Art's board.

Again, his international interests became clear and he was involved in the foundation of Universitas 21, the global alliance of research-led universities, as well as the Association of Commonwealth Universities where he has been very active. However, he also deepened his local roots in Glasgow when he and his wife Florence, also a New Zealander, established their home near Biggar in Lanarkshire.

In 2003, after 41 years in the sector, Sir Graeme became Vice-Chancellor of the University of London. The key to his approach has been a genuine commitment to collaboration. He has been a stalwart supporter of London Higher, and an advocate of broader partnership between the universities of London as a whole. But he has also engaged with the wider stakeholder community – he has served on the Board of London First and championed London's higher education in the wider world as he has done wherever he has served.

Sir Graeme has, of course, been widely recognised for his work as a distinguished leader in higher education. Among his many roles, he has been chairman of the Universities Superannuation Scheme and chair of the Central Laboratories of the Research Councils and of HERO, the research portal. He has chaired the DfES Higher Education Research forum and has recently, for example, conducted a wide ranging review of the University of Ulster. He is a board member of the Higher Education Policy Institute. He has recently been appointed to Chair the Delivery Partnership which will oversee the new admissions system for universities.

His academic achievements have gained widespread recognition and he has held Visiting Professorships in many countries (New Zealand, Brazil, China, Argentina, South Africa, Israel and India). He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow as well as Trinity College of Music. He holds Honorary Degrees from seven universities from across the sector including his alma mater, Auckland, where he was described as "a real inspiration to all New Zealanders". He is also a Freeman of the City of London and a Freeman and Burgess Holder of the City of Glasgow. In 1996 he was knighted.

Throughout his career and in his achievements, Sir Graeme has epitomised values which are cherished at London South Bank University. He has been at the forefront of engineering education and an advocate of wider participation in it. He has pursued both a regional agenda and an international aspiration for the institutions he has led, recognising that these are not mutually exclusive but offer powerful complementaries. Above all he has sought to break down barriers between institutions and shown that whatever part of the sector he works in, recognises that certain values and aspirations are common and need to be pursued collaboratively.

For these reasons, and for his great contribution to the higher education sector in so many ways, Sir Graeme Davies was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science, Honoris causa, from London South Bank University in 2006.

Day, Graham; Sir

  • Person
  • 1933-

Sir Graham Day was made an Honorary Doctor of Laws in 1993.

de Sousa, Marcelle

  • Person

Marcelle de Sousa is a nurse and campaigner for adolescent healthcare. She was made an Honorary Fellow of the University in July 2012.

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