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Rosemary Marsh

Colleagues will be sorry to learn of the death, on 15 March 2019, of Rosemary Marsh, a senior member of staff in the Language Centre until her retirement in 2002.  The following tribute has been contributed by Dick Knight, former Executive Director of the Language Centre.

Originally from west London, Rosemary graduated from the University of Nottingham and became a secondary school teacher of English Language and Literature. After moving to Leeds she started to teach English to non-native speakers, at Park Lane College and (initially part-time, from 1973) for the Office of the Lecturer in English to Overseas Students at the University. Her commitments gradually expanded as the Office developed its activities to include courses for specific professional and postgraduate groups coming to Leeds as well as year-round preparation for international students seeking to undertake university studies.

Rosemary became a full-time member of University staff, and a course director, developing her own skills to match the increasing demands of what became, in 1985, the English Language Unit. She gained an MBA in the early 1990s, an experience which led directly to her becoming, in 1993, the founding director of the Leeds Pre-MBA for international students, the first course of its kind in Britain and the prototype for further niche programmes at Leeds.

When, in 1995, the ELU became the EL division of the new University Language Centre, Rosemary contributed significantly to management and marketing, taking part in recruitment initiatives in Thailand and helping establish a partnership with the Centre for International Education at Moscow University aimed at teaching students from Japan both Russian and English. (The process of developing this programme was actually a contribution to helping the Moscow team meet the post-communist challenges in marketing and management.) As director of the Language Centre’s marketing she also played a key role in establishing the cross-sectoral initiative known as English in the North, aimed at promoting the north of England abroad as a study destination. She continued to direct the Pre-MBA until her retirement.

Rosemary was highly respected both by her colleagues for her professional skills and by her students for her commitment to their success and well-being. After leaving the University she lent her expertise to the Patients’ Forum group at Harrogate Hospital, contributing oversight and advice to the management and receiving, in 2011, the High Sheriff’s Award for her services to the community. In 2018 she was elected a Public Governor of the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, representing Harrogate and surrounding villages.

The funeral will take place at 2.20 p.m. on Wednesday 10 April at Stonefall Cemetery and Crematorium, Wetherby Road, Harrogate HG3 1DE, on which day the flag on the Parkinson Building will be flown at half-mast. Donations in memory of Rosemary (and in lieu of flowers) can be made to Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity: