Barbican degree ceremony

Swedish philanthropist, founder of the Sutton Trust and two national journalists honoured at degree ceremony

The Open University has honoured four leading figures in UK society for the exceptional contributions they have made. Martin Lewis OBE, former editor of The Guardian Alan Rusbridger and philanthropists and social justice activists Sir Peter Lampl and Dr Sigrid Rausing all received honorary degrees from The Open University.

Photograph of Martin Lewis

Martin Lewis OBE

Personal finance champion

Well known personal finance champion Martin Lewis OBE has been recognised for his exceptionally innovative and socially responsible business developments. He was nominated for his award for his work in promoting the public understanding of finance in an innovative, inclusive and socially responsible way; and for his donations to consumer finance education charities in the interests of social and financial justice.

Martin has spearheaded major financial campaigns, including reclaiming bank charges, PPI and council tax. More recently he has been at the forefront of the campaign to get financial education on the National Curriculum which was adopted in 2014.

Promoting social justice

Alan Rusbridger

Alan Rusbridger

Former editor-in-chief of The Guardian Alan Rusbridger has collected his honorary degree from The Open
University for public services. He was nominated for his exceptional contribution exposing corruption, promoting social justice and open free access globally, to accurate news reporting.

During his editorship at The Guardian, the newspaper fought a number of high-profile battles over libel and press freedom, including cases involving Neil Hamilton, Johnathan Aitken, the Police Federation and WikiLeaks. The paper’s coverage of the phone hacking scandal led to the Leveson Inquiry into press standards and ethics. Between 1996 and 2014 The Guardian was nominated newspaper of the year five times and Alan named editor of the year three times.

Creating educational opportunity

Sir Peter Lampl

Sir Peter Lampl

Sir Peter Lampl has received an honorary degree for services to the educationally underprivileged and for his exceptional contribution to education and culture. In 1997 he established The Sutton Trust to challenge educational inequality and break the link between educational opportunity and family backgrounds.

Since then he has contributed a significant amount of his own money into programmes to enable students to gain the best possible access to education.

Human rights campaigner

Dr Sigrid Rausing

Dr Sigrid Rausing

Swedish philanthropist, anthropologist and publisher Dr Sigrid Rausing has been honoured for her exceptional contribution in raising awareness and campaigning for human rights across the globe. She founded the Sigrud Rausing Trust in 2003, one of the UK’s largest philanthropic foundations promoting human rights in repressive societies which has distributed more than £208 million to human rights organisations globally.