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The Corporation

Posted: 13/07/09

Principal Asha to collect OBE

West Nottinghamshire College Principal and Chief Executive Asha Khemka will be at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday (15 July) to collect her OBE from the Queen.

Mrs Khemka was appointed an OBE in the 2009 New Year’s Honours List in recognition of her services to further education.

She is the first female Asian college principal in the UK ever to receive the honour.

Since arriving at West Nottinghamshire College in May 2006, Mrs Khemka has transformed it into one of the top colleges in the country.

The college was awarded ‘Grade 1: Outstanding’ across all inspection categories by Ofsted in July 2008, placing it amongst an elite group of colleges nationally.

In January 2009 the college celebrated a unique double when it became the first in Nottinghamshire to gain Beacon status – awarded to learning providers that deliver outstanding teaching and learning – and a star rating in the prestigious Best Companies accreditation scheme, which recognises first-class employers.

In February, Mrs Khemka welcomed Prince Charles to the college’s £8.1m Construction and Logistics Skills Academy in Kirkby-in-Ashfield as part of its first ever royal visit.

Mrs Khemka said: “I’m so proud and humbled to be receiving an OBE for my contribution to further education. Growing up in India, I would never have dared to dream I would embark on such an amazing journey and achieve so much success.

“None of this would have been possible without the love and support of my husband and children, or the wonderful colleagues that have shared my vision and aspirations over the years.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the Queen and sharing what is certain to be an unforgettable experience with my family.

“Then it will be back to business and leading West Nottinghamshire College to even greater heights; in particular providing world-class education and training to people in Mansfield, Ashfield and surrounding communities, and taking forward my Inspire and Achieve Foundation – a charity dedicated to raising the aspirations of disadvantaged young people.”

The accolade marks Mrs Khemka’s latest personal triumph.  In May 2008 she picked up an Asian Woman of Achievement award for her outstanding contribution to education, and in July 2007 won the National Jewel Award for Excellence in Healthcare and Education.