News and events


Professor Margaret Harker, former Head of School of Photography, dies at 93

Photography 4 March 2013

Professor Margaret Harker, who introduced the first degree course in Photography in the UK at the University of Westminster in 1967 (then Polytechnic of Central London), died on 16 February 2013.

Margaret was an author, lecturer and photographic historian who dedicated a lifetime to photography and photographic education.

At an early age Margaret became a practicing professional photographer, specialising in architectural photography together with part-time teaching. In 1959 she was appointed Head of School of Photography at the Polytechnic of Central London where she was the driving force behind the first degree course in Photography in the UK – the B.Sc. in Photographic Science.

Margaret had great enthusiasm for the promotion of History of Photography within the context of society. She was an active member of a wide variety of photographic institutions, including President of both the British Institute of Professional Photography and the Royal Photographic Society, Chairman of Trustees of the Photographers’ Gallery and a member of the Advisory Committee of the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford, to name just a few.

Joost Hunningher, former lecturer at the University of Westminster said: "Margaret was a fine historian of the artistic and technical pioneers of photography. She applied the same rigor to her role as Head of Photography. She encouraged, empowered and inspired us. She also cared for her staff. I remember after my induction, there was a long silence and she looked up at me and added, ‘remember The `Polytechnic mustn’t be the only thing in your life’. I am still touched that, despite all the pressures of running the School, she had real concern and time for the people around her."

Margaret’s commitment to photographic education has made an enormous contribution to the University of Westminster and she will be well remembered. In 1996 a plaque was unveiled to commemorate the establishment of the Margaret Harker Photography Centre at the Harrow Campus.

Margaret’s funeral will be held at 11 am on Monday 11 March at St Bartholomew Church, Egdean, nr. Pulborough Sussex, RH20 IJU

About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 180-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.

For the media

For the media

Here we hope you find everything you will need to research, write and publish your story or blog post.