Michael Worton

Michael John Worton CBE FCIL (born 1951) is a British scholar of French. He was Vice-Provost (International) of University College London (UCL), appointed 1998. He held this appointment concurrently with the university's Fielden Professorship of French Language and Literature.[1] He retired at the end of September 2013.[2]

Michael Worton

English as a Global Language- Are Native Speakers Losing Out? (16518172161) (Michael Worton cropped).jpg
Worton in 2015
Michael John Worton

1951 (age 68–69)
AwardsOrdre des Palmes Académiques[when?]
Academic background
EducationDumfries Academy
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh (PhD)
ThesisThe evolution of the poetry of Rene Char, 1928-1945 (1982)
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Liverpool
University College London

In 2009, he wrote Review of Modern Foreign Languages Provision in Higher Education in England[3] for the UK Government, and in the same year was appointed Higher Education Advisor to the British Council.[1]

Early life and educationEdit

Worton was born in Luanshya, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), of a Yorkshire father and Scottish mother. Worton's family returned to Scotland when he was still of primary-school age, and he was educated at Sanquhar Academy and then Dumfries Academy, and the University of Edinburgh for his Master of Arts[citation needed] and Doctor of Philosophy[4] degrees. He has lectured around the world on issues in French Literature, gender studies, painting and photography, critical theory and pedagogy. Over the past decade, he has also spoken around the world on issues in Higher Education Policy and Practice. He is also a champion for the importance of modern languages in education.


Worton's first post (1976) was as lecturer in French at the University of Liverpool. He then moved to UCL (1980), initially as lecturer in French Language and literature, and successively: Senior Lecturer in French (1991); Professor of French (Personal Chair) and Dean of Faculty of Arts(1994); appointed to Fielden Chair of French Language and Literature, as well as Vice Provost – with oversight of UCL's Teaching and Learning, and the faculties of the Arts & Humanities, and Social Sciences (1998). In 2004 his Vice Provost role expanded to 'Academic and International'.[1]

Honours and awardsEdit

Worton was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to higher education.[5]

Advisory appointmentsEdit

  • Member, Philip Lawrence Awards Judging Panel | Member, European Science Foundation Steering Committee, 'European Reference Index for the Humanities' | Member, Higher Education Panel of the Church of England Board of Education | Chair, HEFCE/AHRC Expert Group on Research Metrics | oard member, CreateKX | Member, Prime Minister's Initiative Higher Education Advisory Group | Member, QAA Development Group for Masters Level Benchmarking | Member, British Council,Education and Governance Advisory Group | Member, Research Information Network (RIN) Research and Libraries Working Group | 2007--: Director and Trustee, CARA (Council for Assisting Refugee Academics) | Member, Comité International de Consultation en Sciences Humaines et Sociales de l'Agence Nationale de la Recherche (French National Research Council) | Centre for Education and Industry Diploma in Humanities Steering Group | Appointed Higher Education Advisor to the British Council | Member of the Advisory Board for the Programme of Artistic Research of the Austrian Research Council (FWF).[1]


  • Typical Men [7][1]
  • Women's Writing in Contemporary France: New Writers, New Literatures in the 1990s[8][1]
  • National Healths: Gender, Sexuality and Health in a Cross-cultural Context'[9][1]
  • Liberating Learning: Widening Participation[10][1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Michael Worton, UCL website <"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)>. Retrieved 1 June 2010
  2. ^ Professor Michael Worton to retire after 33 years at UCL<"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)>
  3. ^ See HEFCE website < http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2009/09_41/>. Retrieved 1 June 2010
  4. ^ Worton, Michael John (1982). The evolution of the poetry of Rene Char, 1928-1945 (PhD thesis). University of Edinburgh. hdl:1842/19430. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.330573.  
  5. ^ Anon (2014) "No. 60895". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2014. p. b11.
  6. ^ "British Academy President's Medal" (PDF). British Academy Review (17). March 2011. pp. 13–14. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  7. ^ (Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham 2001). Catalogue of the exhibition Typical Men. Recent Photography of the Male Body by Men[ISBN missing]
  8. ^ edited and introduced by Gill Rye andMichael Worton (Manchester University Press, 2002)[ISBN missing]
  9. ^ edited by Michael Worton with Nana Wilson-Tagoe (UCL Press, 2004)[ISBN missing]
  10. ^ edited by Michael Worton and Patrick Derham ( University of Buckingham Press, 2010)[ISBN missing]