Published on 14/09/2021
Dr Tony Huq
  • Dr Tozammel (Tony) Huq MBE was born in Bangladesh where his political activism and anti-government protests led to political imprisonment as a student
  • During his working life, he served variously as a teacher, a diplomat and a special adviser for UNESCO
  • He was awarded an MBE for services to education in Britain in 1986

An equality campaigner who was once imprisoned for his political activism as a student in Bangladesh has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Aston University.

While studying at university, Dr Tony Huq got involved in politics, having been struck by the inequalities in society, became a student activist and soon the president of the National Union of Students. His political activism and anti-government protests led to political imprisonment. While in jail, he met other political prisoners – many of whom were to become important figures in the history of Bangladesh, including the future Prime Minister and future ministers.

In 1964, he moved to the UK to take up a position as a supply primary school teacher in Birmingham, eventually rising to become the first Bangladeshi headteacher in the UK in Sparkbrook.

In his new position, he abolished corporal punishment, established parental and pupil partnerships with the school and launched a scheme to support pupils who did not speak English as their first language with support from the Cadbury Trust.

The scheme was later widely replicated not only in Birmingham but across  the rest of the country and Dr Huq was subsequently awarded an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen for services to education in Britain.

Professor Alec Cameron, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, said:

“I am delighted that Aston University has bestowed this honour on Dr Tony Huq.

“Tony’s fight for equality and improvements in education is something to be extremely proud of and is an attribute that reflects the values of Aston University.

“He is an inspiring role model for our students.”

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7446 910063 or email:

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