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The Corporation

Posted: 17/07/09

Asha receives OBE from the Queen

West Nottinghamshire College Principal and Chief Executive, Asha Khemka, has spoken of her pride at receiving her OBE from the Queen.

Mrs Khemka, appointed an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List in recognition of her services to further education, was presented with the award at an official ceremony at Buckingham Palace this week (Wednesday 15 July).

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

Mrs Khemka said: “Meeting the Queen was a truly unforgettable experience. There are many people who make a significant contribution to their chosen profession and to society that do not receive such recognition, so I consider myself to be very fortunate.

“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 now looking forward to leading West Nottinghamshire College into an exciting future, helping it achieve even greater heights and delivering world-class education, training and opportunities for people in Mansfield, Ashfield and surrounding communities.”

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.

Since arriving at West Nottinghamshire College in May 2006, Mrs Khemka has transformed it into one of the top educational establishments in the country. It 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 became the first in Nottinghamshire to gain Beacon status, while later that month it gained a prestigious star rating in the Best Companies accreditation scheme, which recognises first-class employers.

Mrs Khemka’s Buckingham Palace appearance marked her second brush with royalty. In February she welcomed Prince Charles to the college’s £8.1m Construction and Logistics Skills Academy in Kirkby-in-Ashfield.