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Stella Mbubaegbu, principal and chief executive of Highbury College Portsmouth, and chair of the Black Leadership Initiative, was awarded a CBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, at Buckingham Palace for her services to Further Education. Honours were granted to deserving and high-achieving people from every section of the community. The UK honours system rewards people for merit, service or bravery.

Having met the Queen Elizabeth II face to face Stella said: “I was exhilarated and humbled with my heart full of gratitude and joy. The Queen was really gracious and very warm natured, her attention was totally on me, it was a very special moment and we had a lovely conversation about my work and how passionate and how much I enjoy what I do. The Queen genuinely made me feel very special.”

“Buckingham Palace had a true sense of history and tradition, it’s majestic surrounding and the warmth of her majesty’s household was fantastic, as they set out to make you feel so comfortable and they were very well organised and clam. The day was really very special.”

Stella was absolutely delighted when she found out about the award and said: "In the FE sector, we provide education and skills development, while bringing hope to communities and changing lives. To be recognised for doing this is a great honour and a truly humbling experience.”

"I have worked alongside and been supported by many special, talented and dedicated people in the sector, who work incredibly hard to make a difference to so many people. I'm really passionate about the work we do together and look forward to greater successes in the future. My family feels very proud of this achievement and so do Highbury College governors, staff and students.

Six years ago Stella was celebrated nationally and internationally for breaking barriers to become the very first ethnic minority female principal and chief executive of an incorporated FE college in the UK. During those six year Stella has led Highbury College Portsmouth to being a world-class College, with world-class facilities, resources and teaching staff. Highbury have recently invested more than 52million into new buildings, housing state of the art teaching environments, with over 14,000 students benefiting year on year.


Dr Shena Mitchell
Head of Public Relations
Highbury College Portsmouth
Direct Line: 02392 313206
Mobile: 07809 696517

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Highbury College in the following categories: Women's Interest & Beauty, Education & Human Resources, for more information visit