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Joyce Quin joined the University in 1972 as a lecturer in French
Joyce Quin joined the University in 1972 as a lecturer in French

Internal News - 05 July 2006

Former lecturer becomes member of the House of Lords

A former lecturer in the Department of European Studies & Modern Languages who went on to become a minister in Tony Blair’s first government, has been ennobled by the House of Lords in recognition of her work.

The Right Honourable the Baroness Joyce Quin joined the University in 1972 as a lecturer in French in the then School of Modern Languages and stayed in the department until 1976. She moved into politics in the late 1970s and became a long-standing Member of Parliament.

She said: "I remember my time in Bath coinciding with a period of rapidly expanding student numbers and the introduction of a variety of new and demanding courses. This made for hard work, but it was also very worthwhile.

“It has been good to maintain links with colleagues from those days and I am delighted to see the subsequent success that the University of Bath has achieved and how highly it is ranked and valued in the academic and wider world today."

Her colleague, William Brooks, Professor of French, remembers her time in the department: “Joyce's time here coincided with the early development of our European outlook and mission, and in that sense she is a precursor of what we have become.

“Joyce was committed to expanding the subject base beyond French and other European languages and literatures to embrace a socio-political approach to a wide range of countries and cultures.

“It is in part thanks to her that we began to look at Europe as a whole, and particularly the EU - the European Economic Community as it then was. This helped to place us in the forefront of UK modern languages departments with a forward-looking agenda. For example, we were later able formally to include politics as a subject area, something that required the kind of mindset that Joyce helped us to adopt whilst she was here.”

Baroness Quin studied at Newcastle University before moving on to the London School of Economics. After leaving the University on Bath in 1976, she became a lecturer at Durham University before being elected as MEP for Tyne & Wear in 1979. In 1987 she became MP for Gateshead East & Washington West and during her time in parliament worked as a Minister in Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Home Office. She left the Commons at the last election, held in 2005.