Educator, philanthropist and Chairman of ARU London Ravi Gill has received the award of honorary doctor of education from the Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, Professor Roderick Watkins, during a graduation ceremony at Chelmsford Cathedral on Friday (July 21).
Born and raised in modest surroundings in India, Ravi came to the UK at the age of fourteen. A keen student of accountancy, he qualified as a certified accountant and joined the lecturing staff at South West London College.
In 1990, Ravi set up his own college, the Professional Accountancy Training College in South London.
In 2000, he founded the London College of Accountancy (LCA), and within 18 months, the college had gained Platinum Status, the highest teaching accolade proffered by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. In 2006 and 2010, LCA was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, and in 2007 Ravi won the Boss of the Year category at the PQ Magazine awards.
2007 also saw Ravi enter into a collaborative partnership with Anglia Ruskin University, with ARU validating a range of LCA’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in accounting and business. In 2014 LCA was formally designated a faculty, and renamed Anglia Ruskin University London or ARUL.
Ravi co-founded LCA Mauritius in 2008 offering professional accountancy courses delivered at two overseas campuses. In 2013 LCA Mauritus gained Platinum ACCA Status, the only higher education provider on the island to do so and one of only five in Africa.
During this time he continued to take classes, personally tutoring more than 15,000 students between 1990 and 2010.
In November 2021 Rev Jesse Jackson presented Ravi with the International Educational Service Award from the Rainbow PUSH Coalition for his outstanding contribution to education. And in January this year Ravi was bestowed the honour of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by His Majesty The King in the 2023 New Year Honours List in recognition of his services to higher education in the United Kingdom.
Ravi has supported a wide range of charitable organisations, such as The Cambridge Institute for Musical Therapy Research; The Arco Academy, which provides alternative education for students excluded from mainstream schooling; and the Challenger Trust, which helps disadvantaged young people to develop and realise new aspirations.
Speaking during the ceremony, Ravi said: “I am profoundly moved and deeply honoured to receive this honorary award. This is one of the best and the proudest days of my life. Throughout my life I have witnessed the transformative power of education and the doors it can open. I believe our society thrives when we embrace diversity and inclusion, and as I look around this room it gives me great pleasure to see exactly that.”
Professor Watkins, Vice Chancellor of ARU, said: “Ravi has devoted his professional life to bringing to others the same opportunities he enjoyed when he first came to the UK. He has single-handedly changed the landscape of professional accountancy training in London and the Southeast as well as internationally on the island of Mauritius.
“A remarkable educator and philanthropist, and a long-standing and dearly valued partner of our university, he is a powerful role model for business students.”