ARU awarded The Queen’s Anniversary Prize

29 November 2021

We are delighted to be able to share the fantastic news that ARU has been the recipient of The Queen’s Anniversary Prize, for the world-leading work in music therapy.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes recognise outstanding work by UK universities and colleges that shows the highest levels of quality and innovation and delivers significant public benefit. The Prizes are the highest national Honour awarded in UK higher and further education, and are granted by The Queen every two years.

ARU’s entry for the 2021 round was based on the world-leading work in music therapy, and in particular the ways in which the research has directly enhanced care for over 22,000 people and their families living with dementia, in care homes and at home in the community.

Over the last 25 years ARU's colleagues in music therapy have developed world-leading expertise and driven innovations in global policy and practice, including research into music and the brain, and the ARU team are immensely proud to have the world’s largest research-active, university-based, music therapy research centre, including a music therapy clinic and research institute (Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research), on our Cambridge campus.

We were the first university in the UK to offer MA level music therapy training in 1994 and, in 2006, the Health and Care Profession’s Council (HCPC) ruled that MA should be the recognised level for UK music therapists’ training – a very well-deserved endorsement of the team’s innovative approach.

Our team’s ground-breaking work also contributed to the Music for Dementia Commission in the House of Lords in 2018, and to changes in the NICE guidelines for dementia in 2019, recommending music therapy for people with dementia for the first time.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prize is unique in the Honours system in that it provides valuable external recognition to the institution as a whole, irrespective of the particular area selected for the entry. Our win therefore represents the whole university – and I hope that we will all celebrate and take pride in this success.

Please join me in congratulating and thanking Professor Helen Odell-Miller and her team, whose outstanding work has secured us this recognition. More importantly, of course, their expertise, passion and dedication has had a life-changing effect on tens of thousands of people living with dementia, and their families – and that’s something of which we can all be hugely proud.

Best wishes,